Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 23429341
EMBO Rep. 2013 Apr;14(4):356-63
The DNA-binding protein TRF2 is essential for telomere protection and chromosome stability in mammals. We show here that TRF2 expression is activated by the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway in human cancer and normal cells as well as in mouse intestinal tissues. Furthermore, β-catenin binds to TRF2 gene regulatory regions that are functional in a luciferase transactivating assay. Reduced β-catenin expression in cancer cells triggers a marked increase in telomere dysfunction, which can be reversed by TRF2 overexpression. We conclude that the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway maintains a level of TRF2 critical for telomere protection. This is expected to have an important role during development, adult stem cell function and oncogenesis.