The C-terminus of Apc does not influence intestinal adenoma development or progression


  • No conflicts of interest were declared.


Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) mutations are found in most colorectal tumours. These mutations are almost always protein-truncating, deleting both central domains that regulate Wnt signalling and C-terminal domains that interact with the cytoskeleton. The importance of Wnt dysregulation for colorectal tumourigenesis is well characterized. It is, however, unclear whether loss of C-terminal functions contributes to tumourigenesis, although this protein region has been implicated in cellular processes—including polarity, migration, mitosis, and chromosomal instability (CIN)—that have been postulated as critical for the development and progression of intestinal tumours. Since almost all APC mutations in human patients disrupt both central and C-terminal regions, we created a mouse model to test the role of the C-terminus of APC in intestinal tumourigenesis. This mouse (Apcequation image) carries an internal deletion within Apc that dysregulates Wnt by removing the beta-catenin-binding and SAMP repeats, but leaves the C-terminus intact. We compared Apcequation image mice with Apcequation image animals. The latter allele represented the most commonly found human APC mutation and was identical to Apcequation image except for absence of the entire C-terminus. Apcequation image mice developed numerous intestinal adenomas indistinguishable in number, location, and dysplasia from those seen in Apcequation image mice. No carcinomas were found in Apcequation image or Apcequation image animals. While similar disruption of the Wnt signalling pathway was observed in tumours from both mice, no evidence of differential C-terminus functions (such as cell migration, CIN, or localization of APC and EB1) was seen. We conclude that the C-terminus of APC does not influence intestinal adenoma development or progression. Copyright © 2011 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.