Identification of a role for beta-catenin in the establishment of a bipolar mitotic spindle.
beta-Catenin is a multifunctional protein that is known to participate in two well defined cellular processes, cell-cell adhesion and Wnt-stimulated transcriptional activation. Here we report that beta-catenin participates in a third cellular process, the establishment of a bipolar mitotic spindle. During mitosis, beta-catenin relocalizes to mitotic spindle poles and to the midbody. Furthermore, biochemical fractionation demonstrates the presence of beta-catenin in purified centrosome preparations. Reduction of cellular beta-catenin by RNA interference leads to the failure of centrosomes to fully separate, resulting in a marked increase in the frequency of monoastral mitotic spindles. Our results define a new and important function for beta-catenin in mitosis and demonstrate that beta-catenin is involved in vital biological processes beyond cell adhesion and Wnt signaling.
Kaplan, DD; Meigs, TE; Kelly, P; Casey, PJ
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