Armadillo nuclear import is regulated by cytoplasmic anchor Axin and nuclear anchor dTCF/Pan

N. S. Tolwinski, E. Wieschaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Drosophila melanogaster Armadillo plays two distinct roles during development. It is a component of adherens junctions, and functions as a transcriptional activator in response to Wingless signaling. In the current model, Wingless signal causes stabilization of cytoplasmic Armadillo allowing it to enter the nucleus where it can activate transcription. However, the mechanism of nuclear import and export remains to be elucidated. In this study, we show that two gain-of-function alleles of Armadillo activate Wingless signaling by different mechanisms. The S10 allele was previously found to localize to the nucleus, where it activates transcription. In contrast, the ΔArm allele localizes to the plasma membrane, and forces endogenous Arm into the nucleus. Therefore, ΔArm is dependent on the presence of a functional endogenous allele of arm to activate transcription. We show that ΔArm may function by titrating Axin protein to the membrane, suggesting that it acts as a cytoplasmic anchor keeping Arm out of the nucleus. In axin mutants, Arm is localized to the nuclei. We find that nuclear retention is dependent on dTCF/Pangolin. This suggests that cellular distribution of Arm is controlled by an anchoring system, where various nuclear and cytoplasmic binding partners determine its localization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2107-2117
Number of pages11
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Armadillo
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Nuclear import/export
  • Wnt/Wingless


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