AXIN1

Gene Summary

Gene:AXIN1; axin 1
Aliases: AXIN, PPP1R49
Location:16p13.3
Summary:This gene encodes a cytoplasmic protein which contains a regulation of G-protein signaling (RGS) domain and a dishevelled and axin (DIX) domain. The encoded protein interacts with adenomatosis polyposis coli, catenin beta-1, glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta, protein phosphate 2, and itself. This protein functions as a negative regulator of the wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 1 (WNT) signaling pathway and can induce apoptosis. The crystal structure of a portion of this protein, alone and in a complex with other proteins, has been resolved. Mutations in this gene have been associated with hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatoblastomas, ovarian endometriod adenocarcinomas, and medullablastomas. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Jan 2016]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:axin-1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (78)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Cell Nucleus
  • DNA Methylation
  • Cancer DNA
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Liver Cancer
  • Single-Stranded Conformational Polymorphism
  • Chromosome 16
  • Western Blotting
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Trans-Activators
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Adolescents
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Cell Proliferation
  • beta Catenin
  • TCF Transcription Factors
  • APC
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Wnt1 Protein
  • Signal Transduction
  • Axin Protein
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Proteins
  • RTPCR
  • Mutation
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Base Sequence
  • Breast Cancer
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: AXIN1 (cancer-related)

Xia S, Ji R, Zhan W
Long noncoding RNA papillary thyroid carcinoma susceptibility candidate 3 (PTCSC3) inhibits proliferation and invasion of glioma cells by suppressing the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
BMC Neurol. 2017; 17(1):30 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The dysregulation of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) has been identified in a variety of cancers. An increasing number of studies have found the critical role of lncRNAs in the regulation of cellular processes, such as proliferation, invasion and differentiation. Long noncoding RNA papillary thyroid carcinoma susceptibility candidate 3 (PTCSC3) is a novel lncRNA that was primarily detected in papillary thyroid carcinoma. However, the biological function and molecular mechanism of lncRNA PTCSC3 in glioma are still unknown.
METHODS: The expression level of lncRNA PTCSC3 in human microglia and glioma cell lines was examined using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The influence of lncRNA PTCSC3 on cell proliferation were studied using the cell counting kit-8, and cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometry assays. The migration and invasion abilities were investigated by transwell and wound healing assays. The target genes of lncRNA PTCSC3 were explored by qRT-PCR, immunofluorescence and western blot.
RESULTS: LncRNA PTCSC3 was significantly downregulated in glioma cell lines. The overexpression of lncRNA PTCSC3 suppressed proliferation and induced apoptosis in U87 and U251 cells. Additionally, the overexpression of lncRNA PTCSC3 inhibited the migration and invasion of U87 and U251 cells. Moreover, lncRNA PTCSC3 inhibited the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of U87 cells. The study also demonstrated that LRP6, as a receptor of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, was a target of lncRNA PTCSC3. By evaluating the expression levels of Axin1, active β-catenin, c-myc, and cyclin D1, the study indicated that lncRNA PTCSC3 inhibited the activation of the Wnt/β-cateninpathway through targeting LRP6.
CONCLUSIONS: LncRNA PTCSC3 inhibits the proliferation and migration of glioma cells and suppresses Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway by targeting LRP6. LncRNA PTCSC3 is a potential therapeutic target for treatment of glioma.

Pećina-Šlaus N, Kafka A, Vladušić T, et al.
AXIN1 Expression and Localization in Meningiomas and Association to Changes of APC and E-cadherin.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(9):4583-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Tumor suppressor gene AXIN1 is an inhibitor of Wnt signaling pathway. It down-regulates the pathway's main signaling effector molecule, beta-catenin, in an AXIN-based destruction complex. In the present study we investigated the involvement of AXIN1 in intracranial meningioma.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Loss of heterozygosity and microsatellite instability analyses were performed. The consequences of genetic changes on protein expression levels were studied in the same patients by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Allelic deletions of AXIN1 gene were found in 21.1% of meningiomas. Microsatellite instability was also observed in 5.3% of cases. Weak or lack of AXIN1 expression was found in 21.9% of meningiomas. We found strong statistical correlations between cytoplasmic localization of AXIN1 and its weak expression and also between the simultaneous cytoplasmic and nuclear localizations and moderate and strong expression levels (p<0.000). The findings on AXIN1 were compared to concomitant expression of APC, beta-catenin and E-cadherin in the same patients by Chi-Square tests and Pearson's correlations. Analysis revealed that AXIN1 genetic changes were significantly associated to lack of the expression of APC and presence of mutant APC proteins (p<0.018). Moderate and strong cytoplasmic and nuclear AXIN1 expressions were positively correlated to strong expression of E-cadherin (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Our findings on genetic changes and expression levels of AXIN1 bring novel data on its involvement in meningeal brain tumors and reveal AXIN1's relation to specific Wnt molecules.

Cha PH, Choi KY
Simultaneous destabilization of β-catenin and Ras via targeting of the axin-RGS domain as a potential therapeutic strategy for colorectal cancer.
BMB Rep. 2016; 49(9):455-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mutations of APC and KRAS are frequently observed in human colorectal cancers (CRCs) and the Wnt/β-catenin and Ras pathways are consequently activated in a significant proportion of CRC patients. Mutations in these two genes are also known to synergistically induce progression of CRCs. Through a series of studies, we have demonstrated that inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway negatively regulates Ras stability, therefore, Ras abundance is increased together with β-catenin in both mice and human CRCs harboring adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) mutations. In a recent study, we identified KY1220, a small molecule that simultaneously degrades β-catenin and Ras by inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, and obtained its derivative KYA1797K, which has improved activity and solubility. We found that KYA1797K binds the RGS domain of axin and enhances the binding affinity of β-catenin or Ras with the β-catenin destruction complex components, leading to simultaneous destabilization of β-catenin and Ras via GSK3β activation. By using both in vitro and in vivo studies, we showed that KYA1797K suppressed the growth of CRCs harboring APC and KRAS mutations through destabilization of β-catenin and Ras. Therefore, our findings indicate that the simultaneous destabilization of β-catenin and Ras via targeting axin may serve as an effective strategy for inhibition of CRCs. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(9): 455-456].

Zhou S, Shen J, Lin S, et al.
Downregulated expression of DIXDC1 in hepatocellular carcinoma and its correlation with prognosis.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):13607-13616 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dishevelled-Axin domain containing 1 (DIXDC1) is a DIX (Dishevelled-Axin) domain possessing protein that acts as a positive regulator of the Wnt pathway. Although DIXDC1 has been investigated in several cancers, it has not yet been studied in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The purpose of the current study was to investigate the expression pattern of DIXDC1 and assess the clinical significance of DIXDC1 expression in HCC patients. Data containing three independent investigations from Oncomine database demonstrated that DIXDC1 mRNA was downregulated in HCC compared with matched non-cancerous tissues. Similar results were also obtained in 25 paired HCC tissues and corresponding non-cancerous tissues by qPCR and Western blot analysis. Additionally, another independent set of 140 pairs of HCC specimens was evaluated for DIXDC1 expression by IHC and demonstrated that reduced expression of DIXDC1 in 50.7 % (71/140) of HCC tissues was significantly correlated with tumor size (p = 0.024), tumor differentiation (p < 0.001), tumor thrombi (p = 0.019), TNM stage (p = 0.019), and BCLC stage (p = 0.008). Importantly, Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox regression analyses were executed to evaluate the prognosis of HCC patients and found that DIXDC1 protein expression was one of the independent prognostic factors for overall survival of HCC patients.

Zhuang K, Yan Y, Zhang X, et al.
Gastrin promotes the metastasis of gastric carcinoma through the β-catenin/TCF-4 pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(3):1369-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer is the most common epithelial malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide; metastasis is a crucial factor in the progression of gastric cancer. The present study applied gastrin-17 amide (G-17) in SGC7901 cells. The results showed that G-17 promoted the cell cycle by accelerating the G0/G1 phase and by increasing the cell proliferation rate by binding to the gastrin receptor. The migratory and invasive abilities of the SGC7901 cells were increased by G-17. The expression levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-7, MMP-9 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were enhanced by G-17 as well. Moreover, G-17 caused the overexpression of β-catenin and TCF-4. G-17 also caused a preferential cytoplasmic and nuclear localization of β-catenin with a high TOP-FLASH activity. Finally, axin reduced the migratory and invasive abilities of the SGC7901 cells, and inhibited the expression of β-catenin, TCF-4, MMP-7, MMP-9 and VEGF; these effects were counteracted by adding G-17. In summary, the present study confirmed the proliferation and metastasis-promoting role of G-17 via binding to the gastrin receptor, and the β-catenin/TCF-4 pathway was found to be essential for mediating G-17-induced metastasis in gastric cancer. These results may provide a novel gene target for the treatment of gastric cancer.

Okabe H, Kinoshita H, Imai K, et al.
Diverse Basis of β-Catenin Activation in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Implications in Biology and Prognosis.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0152695 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: β-catenin signaling is a major oncogenic pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Since β-catenin phosphorylation by glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) and casein kinase 1ε (CK1ε) results in its degradation, mutations affecting these phosphorylation sites cause β-catenin stabilization. However, the relevance of missense mutations in non-phosphorylation sites in exon 3 remains unclear. The current study explores significance of such mutations in addition to addressing the clinical and biological implications of β-catenin activation in human HCC.
METHODS: Gene alteration in exon3 of CTNNB1, gene expression of β-catenin targets such as glutamate synthetase (GS), axin2, lect2 and regucalcin (RGN), and protein expression of β-catenin were examined in 125 human HCC tissues.
RESULTS: Sixteen patients (12.8%) showed conventional missense mutations affecting codons 33, 37, 41, and 45. Fifteen additional patients (12.0%) had other missense mutations in codon 32, 34, and 35. Induction of exon3 mutation caused described β-catenin target gene upregulation in HCC cell line. Interestingly, conventional and non-phosphorylation site mutations were equally associated with upregulation of β-catenin target genes. Nuclear localization of β-catenin was associated with poor overall survival (p = 0.0461). Of these patients with nuclear β-catenin localization, loss of described β-catenin target gene upregulation showed significant poorer overall survival than others (p = 0.0001).
CONCLUSION: This study suggests that both conventional and other missense mutations in exon 3 of CTNNB1 lead to β-catenin activation in human HCC. Additionally, the mechanism of nuclear β-catenin localization without upregulation of described β-catenin target genes might be of clinical importance depending on distinct mechanism.

Luna-Coronell JA, Vierlinger K, Gamperl M, et al.
The prostate cancer immunome: In silico functional analysis of antigenic proteins from microarray profiling with IgG.
Proteomics. 2016; 16(8):1204-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
The study of the immunome of prostate cancer (PCa) and characterization of autoantibody signature from differentially reactive antigens can uncover disease stage proteins, reveal enriched networks and even expose aberrant cellular mechanisms during the disease process. By conducting plasma IgG profiling on protein microarrays presenting 5449 unique human proteins expressed in 15 417 E. coli human cDNA expression clones, we elucidated 471 (21 higher reactive in PCa) differentially reactive antigens in 50 PCa versus 49 patients with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) at initial diagnosis. Functional analyzes show that the immune-profile of PCa compared to BPH control samples is significantly enriched in features targeting Cellular assembly, Cell death and pathways involved in Cell cycle, translation, and assembly of proteins as EIF2 signaling, PCa related genes as AXIN1 and TP53, and ribosomal proteins (e.g. RPS10). An overlap of 61 (out of 471) DIRAGs with the published 1545 antigens from the SEREX database has been found, however those were higher reactive in BPH. Clinical relevance is shown when antibody-reactivities against eight proteins were significantly (p < 0.001) correlated with Gleason-score. Herewith we provide a biological and pathophysiological characterization of the immunological layer of cancerous (PCa) versus benign (BPH) disease, derived from antibody profiling on protein microarrays.

Poindexter KM, Matthew S, Aronchik I, Firestone GL
Cooperative antiproliferative signaling by aspirin and indole-3-carbinol targets microphthalmia-associated transcription factor gene expression and promoter activity in human melanoma cells.
Cell Biol Toxicol. 2016; 32(2):103-19 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/04/2017 Related Publications
Antiproliferative signaling of combinations of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) and indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a natural indolecarbinol compound derived from cruciferous vegetables, was investigated in human melanoma cells. Melanoma cell lines with distinct mutational profiles were sensitive to different extents to the antiproliferative response of aspirin, with oncogenic BRAF-expressing G361 cells and wild-type BRAF-expressing SK-MEL-30 cells being the most responsive. I3C triggered a strong proliferative arrest of G361 melanoma cells and caused only a modest decrease in the proliferation of SK-MEL-30 cells. In both cell lines, combinations of aspirin and I3C cooperatively arrested cell proliferation and induced a G1 cell cycle arrest, and nearly ablated protein and transcript levels of the melanocyte master regulator microphthalmia-associated transcription factor isoform M (MITF-M). In melanoma cells transfected with a -333/+120-bp MITF-M promoter-luciferase reporter plasmid, treatment with aspirin and I3C cooperatively disrupted MITF-M promoter activity, which accounted for the loss of MITF-M gene products. Mutational analysis revealed that the aspirin required the LEF1 binding site, whereas I3C required the BRN2 binding site to mediate their combined and individual effects on MITF-M promoter activity. Consistent with LEF1 being a downstream effector of Wnt signaling, aspirin, but not I3C, downregulated protein levels of the Wnt co-receptor LDL receptor-related protein-6 and β-catenin and upregulated the β-catenin destruction complex component Axin. Taken together, our results demonstrate that aspirin-regulated Wnt signaling and I3C-targeted signaling pathways converge at distinct DNA elements in the MITF-M promoter to cooperatively disrupt MITF-M expression and melanoma cell proliferation.

Kim SS, Cho HJ, Lee HY, et al.
Genetic polymorphisms in the Wnt/β-catenin pathway genes as predictors of tumor development and survival in patients with hepatitis B virus-associated hepatocellular carcinoma.
Clin Biochem. 2016; 49(10-11):792-801 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Wnt/β-catenin signaling has a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The present study aimed to determine whether genetic variation in the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is associated with the development and/or progression of HCC and the survival of patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated HCC.
DESIGN AND METHODS: We assessed seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the AXIN1, AXIN2, CTNNB1, and WNT2 genes in 245 patients with HBV-associated HCC and 483 chronic HBV carriers without HCC. We analyzed the association of each SNP with HCC development or progression and overall survival.
RESULTS: The CTNNB1 rs3864004 A allele was associated with a decreased risk of HCC development (P=0.049). Haplotype analysis revealed a significantly higher frequency of CTNNB1 G-A/G-A haplotype at rs3864004 and rs4135385 positions in patients with HCC than in chronic HBV carriers without HCC (P=0.042). The AXIN1 rs1805105 T>C SNP was associated with small tumor size and early tumor stage and the WNT2 rs39315 G allele was associated with advanced tumor stage in HCC. In Kaplan-Meier analysis, carriers of the AXIN1 rs214252 C allele showed longer survival than those with the TT genotype (P=0.020). In multivariate Cox regression analysis, absence of CTNNB1 haplotype A-A at rs3864004 and rs4135385 positions and advanced tumor stage were independent poor predictors of patient survival in patients with HCC.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that the genetic polymorphisms in CTNNB1 gene might affect tumor development and survival in patients with HBV-associated HCC.

Chimge NO, Little GH, Baniwal SK, et al.
RUNX1 prevents oestrogen-mediated AXIN1 suppression and β-catenin activation in ER-positive breast cancer.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:10751 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/04/2017 Related Publications
Recent high-throughput studies revealed recurrent RUNX1 mutations in breast cancer, specifically in oestrogen receptor-positive (ER(+)) tumours. However, mechanisms underlying the implied RUNX1-mediated tumour suppression remain elusive. Here, by depleting mammary epithelial cells of RUNX1 in vivo and in vitro, we demonstrate combinatorial regulation of AXIN1 by RUNX1 and oestrogen. RUNX1 and ER occupy adjacent elements in AXIN1's second intron, and RUNX1 antagonizes oestrogen-mediated AXIN1 suppression. Accordingly, RNA-seq and immunohistochemical analyses demonstrate an ER-dependent correlation between RUNX1 and AXIN1 in tumour biopsies. RUNX1 loss in ER(+) mammary epithelial cells increases β-catenin, deregulates mitosis and stimulates cell proliferation and expression of stem cell markers. However, it does not stimulate LEF/TCF, c-Myc or CCND1, and it does not accelerate G1/S cell cycle phase transition. Finally, RUNX1 loss-mediated deregulation of β-catenin and mitosis is ameliorated by AXIN1 stabilization in vitro, highlighting AXIN1 as a potential target for the management of ER(+) breast cancer.

Cironi L, Petricevic T, Fernandes Vieira V, et al.
The fusion protein SS18-SSX1 employs core Wnt pathway transcription factors to induce a partial Wnt signature in synovial sarcoma.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:22113 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/04/2017 Related Publications
Expression of the SS18/SYT-SSX fusion protein is believed to underlie the pathogenesis of synovial sarcoma (SS). Recent evidence suggests that deregulation of the Wnt pathway may play an important role in SS but the mechanisms whereby SS18-SSX might affect Wnt signaling remain to be elucidated. Here, we show that SS18/SSX tightly regulates the elevated expression of the key Wnt target AXIN2 in primary SS. SS18-SSX is shown to interact with TCF/LEF, TLE and HDAC but not β-catenin in vivo and to induce Wnt target gene expression by forming a complex containing promoter-bound TCF/LEF and HDAC but lacking β-catenin. Our observations provide a tumor-specific mechanistic basis for Wnt target gene induction in SS that can occur in the absence of Wnt ligand stimulation.

Korkmaz G, Horozoglu C, Arıkan S, et al.
LGALS3 and AXIN1 gene variants playing role in the Wnt/ β-catenin signaling pathway are associated with mucinous component and tumor size in colorectal cancer.
Bosn J Basic Med Sci. 2016; 16(2):108-13 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/04/2017 Related Publications
The Wnt pathway alterations have been identified in colorectal and many other cancer types. It has been reported that galectin-3 (which is encoded by the LGALS3 gene) alters the signaling mechanism in the Wnt/ β-catenin pathway by binding to β-catenin in colon and other cancers. AXIN1 is mainly responsible for the assembly of the β-catenin destruction complex in the Wnt pathway. This study investigated the relationship of rs4644 and rs4652 variants of the LGALS3 gene and rs214250 variants of the AXIN1 gene to histopathological and clinical properties. Our study included a total of 236 patients, of whom 119 had colorectal cancer (42 women, 77 men) and 117 were healthy controls. Polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and allele-specific oligonucleotide (ASO) PCR methods were used. In addition, the serum galectin-3 level was studied with the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. For the rs4644 variant of the LGALS3 gene, the CC genotype a mucinous component was significantly more common than those without a mucinous component (p=0.026). C allele frequency of the rs214250 variant of the AXIN1 gene was significantly correlated to tumor size in the advanced tumor stage (p=0.022). The CCAACT haplotype was more common in colorectal cancer patients (p=0.022). Serum galectin-3 level was higher in the patient group compared to the control group (5.9± 0.69 ng/ml vs. 0.79±0.01 ng/ml; p<0.001). In conclusion, variants of LGALS3 and AXIN1 genes affect tumor sizes and the mucinous component via Wnt/ β-catenin pathway in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer.

Wu X, Luo F, Li J, et al.
Tankyrase 1 inhibitior XAV939 increases chemosensitivity in colon cancer cell lines via inhibition of the Wnt signaling pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(4):1333-40 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/04/2017 Related Publications
Aberrant Wnt signaling pathway is associated with a wide array of tumor types and plays an important role in the drug resistance of cancer stem cells (CSCs). To explore the effects and mechanism of WNT signaling pathway inhibitor XAV939 on drug resistance in colon cancer cells, the colon cancer cells SW480 and SW620 were treated with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)/cisplatin (DDP) alone or combined with XAV939. Cell cycle distribution, apoptosis level and the percentage of CD133+ cells were detected by flow cytometry. The protein expression of Axin, β-catenin, EpCAM, TERT and DCAMKL-1 was detected by western blotting. XAV939 upregulated Axin , decreased the total and nuclei of β-catenin in SW480 and SW620 cells. Furthermore, XAV939 significantly downregulated the CSC markers EpCAM, TERT and DCAMKL-1 in SW480 cells, as well as EpCAM in SW620 cells. No significant difference was found in the apoptosis of SW480 and SW620 cells with XAV939 treatment, but XAV939 significantly increased apoptosis induced by 5-FU/DDP in SW480 cells, whereas, the effects were slight in SW620 cells. Collectively, we show for the first time that the WNT signaling pathway inhibitor XAV939 was able to significantly increase the apoptosis induced by 5-FU/DDP, accompanied by the protein expression level alternation of β-catenin, Axin and CSC markers in colon cancer cells. Axin, an important component of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway could be a potential molecular target for reversing multidrug resistance in colon cancer.

Shao J, Wang L, Zhong C, et al.
AHSA1 regulates proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion of osteosarcoma.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 77:45-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Activator of 90kDa heat shock protein ATPase homolog 1 (AHSA1) is a chaperone of heat shock 90kDa (HSP90) and stimulates ATPase activity of HSP90. The function of AHSA1 in osteosarcoma (OS) has not been reported yet. A previous study showed AHSA1 was overexpressed in OS cells. In this study, we investigated the role of AHSA1 in OS cells by silencing AHSA1. We report that silencing AHSA1 inhibited cell growth, migration, and invasion, and increased apoptosis of MG-63 and Saos2 cells. We also found that silencing AHSA1 decreased the ATPase activity of HSP90 in OS cells. In addition, silencing AHSA1 increased the levels of negative regulators of Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway, Axin-2 and GSK3β, and decreased the levels of two key members of Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway, namely, Wnt-5a and β-catenin. In conclusion, silencing AHSA1 regulates cell growth, apoptosis, migration, and invasion by regulating Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway and their negative regulators.

Hu BR, Fairey AS, Madhav A, et al.
AXIN2 expression predicts prostate cancer recurrence and regulates invasion and tumor growth.
Prostate. 2016; 76(6):597-608 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Treatment of prostate cancer (PCa) may be improved by identifying biological mechanisms of tumor growth that directly impact clinical disease progression. We investigated whether genes associated with a highly tumorigenic, drug resistant, progenitor phenotype impact PCa biology and recurrence.
METHODS: Radical prostatectomy (RP) specimens (±disease recurrence, N = 276) were analyzed by qRT-PCR to quantify expression of genes associated with self-renewal, drug resistance, and tumorigenicity in prior studies. Associations between gene expression and PCa recurrence were confirmed by bootstrap internal validation and by external validation in independent cohorts (total N = 675) and in silico. siRNA knockdown and lentiviral overexpression were used to determine the effect of gene expression on PCa invasion, proliferation, and tumor growth.
RESULTS: Four candidate genes were differentially expressed in PCa recurrence. Of these, low AXIN2 expression was internally validated in the discovery cohort. Validation in external cohorts and in silico demonstrated that low AXIN2 was independently associated with more aggressive PCa, biochemical recurrence, and metastasis-free survival after RP. Functionally, siRNA-mediated depletion of AXIN2 significantly increased invasiveness, proliferation, and tumor growth. Conversely, ectopic overexpression of AXIN2 significantly reduced invasiveness, proliferation, and tumor growth.
CONCLUSIONS: Low AXIN2 expression was associated with PCa recurrence after RP in our test population as well as in external validation cohorts, and its expression levels in PCa cells significantly impacted invasiveness, proliferation, and tumor growth. Given these novel roles, further study of AXIN2 in PCa may yield promising new predictive and therapeutic strategies.

Chartier C, Raval J, Axelrod F, et al.
Therapeutic Targeting of Tumor-Derived R-Spondin Attenuates β-Catenin Signaling and Tumorigenesis in Multiple Cancer Types.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(3):713-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Deregulation of the β-catenin signaling has long been associated with cancer. Intracellular components of this pathway, including axin, APC, and β-catenin, are frequently mutated in a range of human tumors, but the contribution of specific extracellular ligands that promote cancer development through this signaling axis remains unclear. We conducted a reporter-based screen in a panel of human tumors to identify secreted factors that stimulate β-catenin signaling. Through this screen and further molecular characterization, we found that R-spondin (RSPO) proteins collaborate with Wnt proteins to activate β-catenin. RSPO family members were expressed in several human tumors representing multiple malignancies, including ovarian, pancreatic, colon, breast, and lung cancer. We generated specific monoclonal antibody antagonists of RSPO family members and found that anti-RSPO treatment markedly inhibited tumor growth in human patient-derived tumor xenograft models, either as single agents or in combination with chemotherapy. Furthermore, blocking RSPO signaling reduced the tumorigenicity of cancer cells based on serial transplantation studies. Moreover, gene-expression analyses revealed that anti-RSPO treatment in responsive tumors strongly inhibited β-catenin target genes known to be associated with cancer and normal stem cells. Collectively, our results suggest that the RSPO family is an important stimulator of β-catenin activity in many human tumors and highlight a new effective approach for therapeutically modulating this fundamental signaling axis.

Yadav A, Gupta A, Yadav S, et al.
Association of Wnt signaling pathway genetic variants in gallbladder cancer susceptibility and survival.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(6):8083-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is the most common malignancy of the biliary tract with adverse prognosis and poor survival. Wnt signaling plays an important role in embryonic development and regeneration of tissues in all the species. Deregulation of expression and mutations in this pathway may lead to disease state such as cancer. In this study, we assessed the association of common germline variants of Wnt pathway genes (SFRP2, SFRP4, DKK2, DKK3, WISP3, APC, β-catenin, AXIN-2, GLI-1) to evaluate their contribution in predisposition to GBC and treatment outcomes. The study included 564 GBC patients and 250 controls. Out of 564, 200 patients were followed up for treatment response and survival. Tumor response (RECIST 1.1) was recorded in 116 patients undergoing non-adjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). Survival was assessed by Kaplan-Meier curve and Cox-proportional hazard regression. Single locus analysis showed significant association of SFRP4 rs1802073G > T [p value = 0.0001], DKK2 rs17037102C > T [p value = 0.0001], DKK3 rs3206824C > T [p value = 0.012], APC rs4595552 A/T [p value = 0.021], APC rs11954856G > T [p value = 0.047], AXIN-2 rs4791171C > T [p value = 0.001], β-catenin rs4135385A > G [p value = 0.031], and GLI-1 rs222826C > G [p value = 0.001] with increased risk of GBC. Gene-gene interaction using GMDR analysis predicted APC rs11954856 and AXIN2 rs4791171 as significant in conferring GBC susceptibility. Cox-proportional hazard model showed GLI-1 rs2228226 CG/GG and AXIN-2 rs4791171 TT genotype higher hazard ratio. In recursive partitioning, AXIN-2 rs4791171 TT genotype showed higher mortality and hazard. Most of studied genetic variants influence GBC susceptibility. APC rs11954856, GLI-1 rs2228226, and AXIN-2 rs4791171 were found to be associated with poor survival in advanced GBC patients.

Hamada S, Urakawa H, Kozawa E, et al.
Characteristics of cultured desmoid cells with different CTNNB1 mutation status.
Cancer Med. 2016; 5(2):352-60 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/04/2017 Related Publications
Desmoid tumors are benign mesenchymal neoplasms with a locally aggressive nature. The mutational status of β-catenin gene (CTNNB1) is presumed to affect the tumorous activity of the cells. In this study, we isolated three kinds of desmoid cell with different CTNNB1 status, and compared their characteristics. Cells were isolated from three patients with abdominal wall desmoid during surgery, all of which were resistant to meloxicam treatment. The mutational status of the CTNNB1 exon 3 was determined for both parental tumor tissues and isolated cultured cells. β-catenin expression was determined with immunohistochemistry. Responsiveness to meloxicam was investigated with MTS assay together with COX-2 immunostaining. mRNA expressions of downstream molecules of Wnt/β-catenin pathway were determined with real-time RT-PCR. Three kinds of cell isolated from desmoid tumors harboring different CTNNB1 mutation status (wild type, T41A, and S45F), all exhibited a spindle shape. These isolated cells could be cultured until the 20th passage with unchanged proliferative activity. Nuclear accumulation of β-catenin was observed in all cultured cells, particularly in those with S45F. Proliferating activity was significantly suppressed by meloxicam (25 μmol/L, P < 0.007) in all three cell cultures, of which parental desmoid was resistant to meloxicam clinically. The mRNA expressions of Axin2, c-Myc, and Cyclin D1 differently increased in the three cultured cell types as compared with those in human skin fibroblast cells (HDF). Inhibitors of Wnt/β-catenin pathway downregulated Axin2, c-Myc, and Cyclin D1 significantly. Isolated and cultured desmoid tumor cells harboring any one of the CTNNB1 mutation status had unique characteristics, and could be useful to investigate desmoid tumors with different mutation status of CTNNB1.

Zeng X, Montoute M, Bee TW, et al.
A High-Content Imaging Screen for Cellular Regulators of β-Catenin Protein Abundance.
J Biomol Screen. 2016; 21(3):260-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Abnormal accumulation of β-catenin protein, a key transcriptional activator required for Wnt signaling, is the hallmark of many tumor types, including colon cancer. In normal cells, β-catenin protein level is tightly controlled by a multiprotein complex through the proteosome pathway. Mutations in the components of the β-catenin degradation complex, such as adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) and Axin, lead to β-catenin stabilization and the constitutive activation of target genes. Since the signal transduction of Wnt/β-catenin is mainly mediated by protein-protein interactions, this pathway has been particularly refractory to conventional target-based small-molecule screening. Here we designed a cellular high-content imaging assay to detect β-catenin protein through immunofluorescent staining in the SW480 colon cancer cell line, which has elevated β-catenin endogenously. We demonstrate that the assay is robust and specific to screen a focused biologically diverse chemical library set against known targets that play diverse cellular functions. We identified a number of hits that reduce β-catenin levels without causing cell death. These hits may serve as tools to understand the dynamics of β-catenin degradation. This study demonstrates that detecting cell-based β-catenin protein stability is a viable approach to identifying novel mechanisms of β-catenin regulation as well as small molecules of therapeutic potential.

Lu T, Zhang C, Chai MX, et al.
MiR-374a promotes the proliferation of osteosarcoma cell proliferation by targeting Axin2.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(9):10776-83 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MicroRNA-374a (miR-374a) has been implicated in several cancers. However, its role in osteosarcoma (OS) remains unclear. Thus the aim of this study was to investigate its expression and role in progression of OS.
METHODS: Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was performed to detect the expression of miR-374a in OS cell lines and tissues. To further understand its role, we restored expression of miR-374a in MG63 cell line by transfection with miR-374a mimics or inhibitors. Effects of miR-374a on cell proliferation on targets were also determined.
RESULTS: In the present study, our results showed that miR-374a was significantly up-regulated in both OS cell lines and OS tissues. Over expression of miR-374a markedly accelerated proliferation of OS cells, while its inhibition significantly suppressed cell proliferation. Moreover, Axin2 was identified to be a functional downstream target of miR-374a, and decreased expression of Axin2 could promote OS cell proliferation.
CONCLUSION: Our study suggested that miR-374a functions as an oncogene in OS, and the miR-374a/Axin2 axis might represent a potential therapeutic target for OS intervention.

Yin W, Bian Z
Hypodontia, a prospective predictive marker for tumor?
Oral Dis. 2016; 22(4):265-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tooth agenesis and tumor are two totally different diseases occurring at different ages. In the past 10 years, more and more evidences suggested there was a relationship between them. High prevalence of breast, colon, lung, and ovary tumor was observed in tooth agenesis patients. But it is still controversial. Therefore, to have a greater understanding of the possible association, a critical review on molecular association for genes involving tooth agenesis and tumorigenesis is necessary. In this current review, we summarized the reported cases of tooth agenesis with different kinds of tumors and the molecular relationship between these two diseases through causative genes. The results indicated tooth agenesis might be a prospective predictive marker for tumor. Through this review, we want to draw more attention on this topic and hope it will be an effective way to predict the risk of tumor.

Kawai-Kitahata F, Asahina Y, Tanaka S, et al.
Comprehensive analyses of mutations and hepatitis B virus integration in hepatocellular carcinoma with clinicopathological features.
J Gastroenterol. 2016; 51(5):473-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Genetic alterations in specific genes are critical events in carcinogenesis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression. However, the genetic alterations responsible for HCC development, progression, and survival are unclear.
METHODS: We investigated the essential difference in genetic alterations between HCC and adjacent non-HCC tissues using next-generation sequencing technology.
RESULTS: We found recurrent mutations in several genes such as telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT; 65% of the total 104 HCCs), TP53 (38%), CTNNB1 (30%), AXIN1 (2%), PTEN (2%), and CDKN2A (2%). TERT promoter mutations were associated with older age (p = 0.005), presence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (p = 0.003), and absence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (p < 0.0001). In hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs Ag)-positive HCC without TERT promoter mutations, HBV integration into TERT locus was found in 47% patients and was mutually exclusive to TERT promoter mutations. Most (89%) HBV integrants were in the HBx region. TP53 mutations were associated with HBV infection (p = 0.0001) and absence of HCV infection (p = 0.002). CTNNB1 mutations were associated with absence of HBV infection (p = 0.010). Moreover, TERT promoter mutation was significantly associated with shorter disease-free survival (p = 0.005) and poor overall survival (p = 0.024).
CONCLUSIONS: Gene alterations in TERT promoter, TP53, CTNNB1, and HBV integration were closely associated with HCC development, and mutations in TERT promoter are related to poor prognosis. These results are useful for understanding the underlying mechanism of hepatocarcinogenesis, diagnosis, and predicting outcomes of patients with HCC.

Razzaque MS, Atfi A
TGIF function in oncogenic Wnt signaling.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016; 1865(2):101-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transforming growth-interacting factor (TGIF) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many types of human cancer, but the underlying mechanisms remained mostly enigmatic. Our recent study has revealed that TGIF functions as a mediator of oncogenic Wnt/β-catenin signaling. We found that TGIF can interact with and sequesters Axin1 and Axin2 into the nucleus, thereby culminating in disassembly of the β-catenin-destruction complex and attendant accumulation of β-catenin in the nucleus, where it activates expression of Wnt target genes, including TGIF itself. We have provided proof-of-concept evidences that high levels of TGIF expression correlate with poor prognosis in patients with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), and that TGIF empowers Wnt-driven mammary tumorigenesis in vivo. Here, we will briefly summarize how TGIF influences Wnt signaling to promote tumorigenesis.

Aristizabal-Pachon AF, Carvalho TI, Carrara HH, et al.
AXIN2 Polymorphisms, the β-Catenin Destruction Complex Expression Profile and Breast Cancer Susceptibility.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015; 16(16):7277-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is an important regulator of cellular functions such as proliferation, survival and cell adhesion. Wnt/β-catenin signaling is associated with tumor initiation and progression; β-catenin mutations explain only 30% of aberrant signaling found in breast cancer, indicating that other components and/or regulation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway may be involved.
OBJECTIVE: We evaluated AXIN2 rs2240308 and rs151279728 polymorphisms, and expression profiles of β-catenin destruction complex genes in breast cancer patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We collected peripheral blood samples from 102 breast cancer and 102 healthy subjects. The identification of the genetic variation was performed using PCR-RFLPs and DNA sequencing. RT-qPCR was used to determine expression profiles.
RESULTS: We found significant association of AXIN2 rs151279728 and rs2240308 polymorphisms with breast cancer risk. Significant increase was observed in AXIN2 level expression in breast cancer patients. Further analyses showed APC, β-catenin, CK1α, GSK3β and PP2A gene expression to be associated to clinic-pathological characteristics.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrated, for the first time, that AXIN2 genetic defects and disturbance of β-catenin destruction complex expression may be found in breast cancer patients, providing additional support for roles of Wnt/β-catenin pathway dysfunction in breast cancer tumorigenesis. However, the functional consequences of the genetic alterations remain to be determined.

Fatima S, Shi X, Lin Z, et al.
5-Hydroxytryptamine promotes hepatocellular carcinoma proliferation by influencing β-catenin.
Mol Oncol. 2016; 10(2):195-212 [PubMed] Related Publications
5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), a neurotransmitter and vasoactive factor, has been reported to promote proliferation of serum-deprived hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells but the detailed intracellular mechanism is unknown. As Wnt/β-catenin signalling is highly dysregulated in a majority of HCC, this study explored the regulation of Wnt/β-catenin signalling by 5-HT. The expression of various 5-HT receptors was studied by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) in HCC cell lines as well as in 33 pairs of HCC tumours and corresponding adjacent non-tumour tissues. Receptors 5-HT1D (21/33, 63.6%), 5-HT2B (12/33, 36.4%) and 5-HT7 (15/33, 45.4%) were overexpressed whereas receptors 5-HT2A (17/33, 51.5%) and 5-HT5 (30/33, 90.1%) were reduced in HCC tumour tissues. In vitro data suggests 5-HT increased total β-catenin, active β-catenin and decreased phosphorylated β-catenin protein levels in serum deprived HuH-7 and HepG2 cells compared to control cells under serum free medium without 5-HT. Activation of Wnt/β-catenin signalling was evidenced by increased expression of β-catenin downstream target genes, Axin2, cyclin D1, dickoppf-1 (DKK1) and glutamine synthetase (GS) by qPCR in serum-deprived HCC cell lines treated with 5-HT. Additionally, biochemical analysis revealed 5-HT disrupted Axin1/β-catenin interaction, a critical step in β-catenin phosphorylation. Increased Wnt/β-catenin activity was attenuated by antagonist of receptor 5-HT7 (SB-258719) in HCC cell lines and patient-derived primary tumour tissues in the presence of 5-HT. SB-258719 also reduced tumour growth in vivo. This study provides evidence of Wnt/β-catenin signalling activation by 5-HT and may represent a potential therapeutic target for hepatocarcinogenesis.

Fang L, Cai J, Chen B, et al.
Aberrantly expressed miR-582-3p maintains lung cancer stem cell-like traits by activating Wnt/β-catenin signalling.
Nat Commun. 2015; 6:8640 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/04/2017 Related Publications
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are involved in tumorigenesis, tumour recurrence and therapy resistance and Wnt signalling is essential for the development of the biological traits of CSCs. In non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), unlike in colon cancer, mutations in β-catenin and APC genes are uncommon; thus, the mechanism underlying the constitutive activation of Wnt signalling in NSCLC remains unclear. Here we report that miR-582-3p expression correlates with the overall- and recurrence-free-survival of NSCLC patients, and miR-582-3p has an activating effect on Wnt/β-catenin signalling. miR-582-3p overexpression simultaneously targets multiple negative regulators of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, namely, AXIN2, DKK3 and SFRP1. Consequently, miR-582-3p promotes CSC traits of NSCLC cells in vitro and tumorigenesis and tumour recurrence in vivo. Antagonizing miR-582-3p potently inhibits tumour initiation and progression in xenografted animal models. These findings suggest that miR-582-3p mediates the constitutive activation of Wnt/β-catenin signalling, likely serving as a potential therapeutic target for NSCLC.

Wu G, Liu A, Zhu J, et al.
MiR-1207 overexpression promotes cancer stem cell-like traits in ovarian cancer by activating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(30):28882-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/04/2017 Related Publications
Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is strictly controlled by multiple negative regulators. However, how tumor cells override the negative regulatory effects to maintain constitutive activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, which is commonly observed in various cancers, remains puzzling. In current study, we reported that overexpression of miR-1207 in ovarian cancer activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling by directly targeting and suppressing secreted Frizzled-related protein 1 (SFRP1), AXIN2 and inhibitor of β-catenin and TCF-4 (ICAT), which are vital negative regulators of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. We found that the expression of miR-1207 was ubiquitously upregulated in both ovarian cancer tissues and cells, which inversely correlated with patient overall survival. Furthermore, overexpression of miR-1207 enhanced, while silencing miR-1207 reduced, stem cell-like traits of ovarian cancer cells in vitro and in vivo, including tumor sphere formation capability and proportion of SP+ and CD133+ cells. Importantly, upregulating miR-1207 promoted, while silencing miR-1207 inhibited, the tumorigenicity of ovarian cancer cells. Hence, our results suggest that miR-1207 plays a vital role in promoting the cancer stem cell-like phenotype in ovarian cancer and might represent a potential target for anti-ovarian cancer therapy.

Lyros O, Rafiee P, Nie L, et al.
Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Activation beyond Robust Nuclear β-Catenin Accumulation in Nondysplastic Barrett's Esophagus: Regulation via Dickkopf-1.
Neoplasia. 2015; 17(7):598-611 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/04/2017 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Wnt/β-catenin signaling activation has been reported only during the late steps of Barrett's esophagus (BE) neoplastic progression, but not in BE metaplasia, based on the absence of nuclear β-catenin. However, β-catenin transcriptional activity has been recorded in absence of robust nuclear accumulation. Thus, we aimed to investigate the Wnt/β-catenin signaling in nondysplastic BE.
METHODS: Esophageal tissues from healthy and BE patients without dysplasia were analyzed for Wnt target gene expression by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry. Esophageal squamous (EPC1-& EPC2-hTERT), BE metaplastic (CP-A), and adenocarcinoma (OE33) cell lines were characterized for Wnt activation by qRT-PCR, Western blot, and luciferase assay. Wnt activity regulation was examined by using recombinant Wnt3a and Dickkopf-1 (Dkk1) as well as Dkk1 short interfering RNA.
RESULTS: Wnt target genes (AXIN2, c-MYC, Cyclin D1, Dkk1) and Wnt3a were significantly upregulated in nondysplastic BE compared with squamous mucosa. Elevated levels of dephosphorylated β-catenin were detected in nondysplastic BE. Nuclear active β-catenin and TOPflash activity were increased in CP-A and OE33 cells compared with squamous cells. Wnt3a-mediated β-catenin signaling activation was abolished by Dkk1 in CP-A cells. TOPFlash activity was elevated following Dkk1 silencing in CP-A but not in OE33 cells. Dysplastic and esophageal adenocarcinoma tissues demonstrated further Dkk1 and AXIN2 overexpression.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the absence of robust nuclear accumulation, β-catenin is transcriptionally active in nondysplastic BE. Dkk1 overexpression regulates β-catenin signaling in BE metaplastic but not in adenocarcinoma cells, suggesting that early perturbation of Dkk1-mediated signaling suppression may contribute to BE malignant transformation.

Nakata A, Yoshida R, Yamaguchi R, et al.
Elevated β-catenin pathway as a novel target for patients with resistance to EGF receptor targeting drugs.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:13076 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/04/2017 Related Publications
There is a high death rate of lung cancer patients. Epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) are effective in some lung adenocarcinoma patients with EGFR mutations. However, a significant number of patients show primary and acquire resistance to EGFR-TKIs. Although the Akt kinase is commonly activated due to various resistance mechanisms, the key targets of Akt remain unclear. Here, we show that the Akt-β-catenin pathway may be a common resistance mechanism. We analyzed gene expression profiles of gefitinib-resistant PC9M2 cells that were derived from gefitinib-sensitive lung cancer PC9 cells and do not have known resistance mechanisms including EGFR mutation T790M. We found increased expression of Axin, a β-catenin target gene, increased phosphorylation of Akt and GSK3, accumulation of β-catenin in the cytoplasm/nucleus in PC9M2 cells. Both knockdown of β-catenin and treatment with a β-catenin inhibitor at least partially restored gefitinib sensitivity to PC9M2 cells. Lung adenocarcinoma tissues derived from gefitinib-resistant patients displayed a tendency to accumulate β-catenin in the cytoplasm. We provide a rationale for combination therapy that includes targeting of the Akt-β-catenin pathway to improve the efficacy of EGFR-TKIs.

Yanaka Y, Muramatsu T, Uetake H, et al.
miR-544a induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition through the activation of WNT signaling pathway in gastric cancer.
Carcinogenesis. 2015; 36(11):1363-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) contributes to cancer progression, as well as the development of normal organs, wound healing and organ fibrosis. We established a cell-based reporter system for identifying EMT-inducing microRNAs (miRNAs) with a gastric cancer (GC) cell line, MKN1, transfected with a reporter construct containing a promoter sequence of VIM in the 5' upstream region of the TurboRFP reporter gene. Function-based screening using this reporter system was performed with a 328-miRNA library, and resulted in the identification miR-544a as an EMT-inducing miRNA. Although miR-544a is already known to be involved in the regulation of CDH1, the mechanism by which EMT occurs remains poorly understood. Herein, we demonstrated that overexpression of miR-544a induces VIM, SNAI1 and ZEB1 expression, and reduces CDH1 expression, resulting in an EMT phenotype. In addition, we found that CDH1 and AXIN2, which are related to the degradation and the translocation of β-catenin, are direct targets of miR-544a. Subsequently, the reduction of CDH1 and AXIN2 by miR-544a induced the nuclear import of β-catenin, suggesting that miR-544a may activate the WNT signaling pathway through the stabilization of β-catenin in nucleus. Our findings raise the possibility that inhibition of miR-544a may be a therapeutic target of metastatic GC.

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