Beta-catenin (β-catenin) (Armadillo in Drosophila) is a multifunctional protein involved in two essential cellular events: cell–cell adhesion and the canonical Wnt signaling pathway (Takemaru 2006). β-Catenin/armadillo (Arm) was initially identified as a segment polarity protein in Drosophila in the early 1980s, and later recognized as a key downstream effector of the Wnt pathway. Meanwhile, β-catenin was shown to be an integral component of cadherin-mediated cell adhesion complexes. Over the past two decades, interdisciplinary research has tremendously advanced our knowledge of β-catenin function and its involvement in human disorders (Takemaru et al. 2008; Cadigan and Peifer 2009; MacDonald et al. 2009). At cell–cell adhesion junctions, β-catenin interacts with type-I cadherins and α-catenin, which in turn associates with the actin cytoskeleton. In canonical...
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