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The adenomatous polyposis coli gene (APC) is mutated in most colon cancers.The APC protein binds to the cellular adhesion molecule beta-catenin, which is a mammalian homolog of ARMADILLO, a component of the WINGLESS signaling pathway in Drosophila development. Here it is shown that when beta-catenin is present in excess, APC binds to another component of the WINGLESS pathway, glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3 beta), a mammalian homolog of Drosophila ZESTE WHITE 3. APC was a good substrate for GSK3 beta in vitro, and the phosphorylation sites were mapped to the central region of APC. Binding of beta-catenin to this region was dependent on phosphorylation by GSK3 beta.