β-Catenin as Oncogene--The Smoking Gun

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Science  21 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5307, pp. 1752
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5307.1752

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Three reports [Korinek et al. (p. 1784), Morin et al. (p. 1787), and Rubinfeld et al. (p. 1790)] in this issue provide new evidence about the molecular pathway that goes awry in colon cancer and melanoma. The protein β-catenin, previously known to be associated with the colon-cancer-causing adenomatous polyposis coli protein, is shown to be an oncogene in its own right. In his Perspective, Peifer discusses the normal functions of these proteins in mammals and flies and how their dysfunction can lead to cancer.