Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 695–707 | Cite as

Multiple oncogenic roles of nuclear β-catenin

  • Raju Kumar
  • Murali D BashyamEmail author


β-Catenin is essential for embryonic development and required for cell renewal/regeneration in adult life. Cellular β-catenin exists in three different pools: membranous, cytoplasmic and nuclear. In this review, we focus on functions of the nuclear pool in relation to tumorigenesis. In the nucleus, β-catenin functions as both activator and repressor of transcription in a context-dependent manner. It promotes cell proliferation and supports tumour growth by enhancing angiogenesis. β-Catenin-mediated signalling regulates cancer cell metabolism and is associated with tumour-initiating cells in multiple malignancies. In addition, it functions as both pro- and anti-apoptotic factor besides acting to inhibit recruitment of inflammatory anti-tumour T-cells. Thus, β-catenin appears to possess a multifaceted nuclear function that may significantly impact tumour initiation and progression.


Anti-tumour immunity cancer cell metabolism epithelial-mesenchymal transition tumour-initiating cells tumour micro-environment 



The authors would like to acknowledge funding from the National Bioscience Award grant (BT/HRD/NBA/34/01/2012-13) (50%) as well as a separate research grant (BT/PR8609/MED/12/626/2013) (25%) from the Department of Biotechnology, India, and another research grant (SB/SO/HS-007/2013) (25%) from the Department of Science and Technology, India, to MDB. RK would like to acknowledge Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for junior and senior research fellowships.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular OncologyCentre for DNA Fingerprinting and DiagnosticsHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Manipal UniversityManipalIndia

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