Ehyai S, Miyake T, Williams D, Vinayak J, Bayfield MA, McDermott JC. FMRP recruitment of β-catenin to the translation pre-initiation complex represses translation. EMBO Rep. 2018 Oct 25. pii: e45536. doi: 10.15252/embr.201745536
Significance of the research:
In this study we used affinity purification coupled with mass spectrometry to identify protein partners for β catenin - a key transcriptional regulator in smooth muscle cells. Surprisingly, we identified a number of proteins associated with the control of translation in this analysis of β catenin interacting proteins. We pursued this idea further and found that β catenin's interaction with the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) results in translational repression. Conditions that remove β catenin from the translational machinery (eg Wnt signaling) lead to an up-regulation of mRNA translation. This is a novel observation regarding β catenin function and one that may have implications for control of protein levels in muscle cells in health and disease.