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Sci. Signal., 30 September 2008
Vol. 1, Issue 39, p. pe43
A Wnt-fall for Gene Regulation: Repression
Nate P. Hoverter and
Marian L. Waterman*
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.
A major endpoint of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway is a change in the transcription of target genes. The transcription factors lymphoid enhancer factor (LEF) and T cell factor (TCF) serve as the main gatekeepers of these changes by selecting genes to be targeted by the transcriptional coregulator β-catenin and by defining how target gene expression will be altered. Most research has focused on LEF/TCF:β-catenin–mediated activation of transcription, but there have been some reports that suggest that this complex also directly represses transcription. A recent study uncovered a new mode of repression of Wnt target genes in which recognition of a novel DNA element by TCF specifies that β-catenin acts as a transcriptional repressor.