The armadillo repeat domain of the APC tumor suppressor protein interacts with Striatin family members.
Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) is a multifunctional tumor suppressor protein that negatively regulates the Wnt signaling pathway. The APC gene is ubiquitously expressed in various tissues, especially throughout the large intestine and central nervous system. Mutations in the gene encoding APC have been found in most colorectal cancers and in other types of cancer. The APC gene product is a large multidomain protein that interacts with a variety of proteins, many of which bind to the well conserved armadillo repeat domain of APC. Through its binding partners, APC affects a large number of important cellular processes, including cell-cell adhesion, cell migration, organization of the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, spindle formation and chromosome segregation. The molecular mechanisms that control these diverse APC functions are only partly understood. Here we describe the identification of an additional APC armadillo repeat binding partner - the Striatin protein. The Striatin family members are multidomain molecules that are mainly neuronal and are thought to function as scaffolds. We have found that Striatin is expressed in epithelial cells and co-localizes with APC in the epithelial tight junction compartment and in neurite tips of PC12 cells. The junctional localization of APC and Striatin is actin-dependent. Depletion of APC or Striatin affected the localization of the tight junction protein ZO-1 and altered the organization of F-actin. These results raise the possibility that the contribution of APC to cell-cell adhesion may be through interaction with Striatin in the tight junction compartment of epithelial cells.