Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 25 September 2015, last major update June 2005

Copyright: (c) 2003-2015,, Inc.

PubMed Search: APC[title]
Table of Contents
  • Adenomatous polyposis coli gene on 5q21, tumor suppressor gene, autosomal dominant
  • Important for familial adenomatous polyposis and Gardner syndromes
  • Binds to (a) microtubule bundles and promotes cell migration and adhesion, (b) beta-catenin (cytoskeletal protein) in a cellular adhesion complex including E-cadherin, part of Wnt signaling pathway
  • Beta-catenin is also bound to a T cell factor-lymphoid enhancer factor (Tcf-Lef), which activates other genes, stimulates cell proliferation and inhibits apoptosis
  • APC accelerates the proteasome-mediated degradation of beta-catenin, which reduces its role as a transactivating factor for the Tcf-Lef pathway
  • Mutations in APC produce elevated levels of Tcf4-beta-catenin, which stimulates a transcriptional response that initiates polyp formation and eventually malignant growth
  • APC is considered a gatekeeper gene since it directs activity downstream of different pathways
  • Colon: mutations play critical role in tumorigenesis (mutations in APC or beta-catenin present in 90% of colon cancers)