Gene Summary

Gene:AXIN1; axin 1
Aliases: AXIN, PPP1R49
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:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


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 (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 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.

  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Axin Protein
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • DNA Methylation
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Western Blotting
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Adolescents
  • APC
  • TCF Transcription Factors
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Single-Stranded Conformational Polymorphism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Signal Transduction
  • beta Catenin
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein
  • Transcription Factors
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Liver Cancer
  • Apoptosis
  • Base Sequence
  • Breast Cancer
  • Proteins
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Cancer DNA
  • Trans-Activators
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Chromosome 16
  • Mutation
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 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)

Zhan T, Ambrosi G, Wandmacher AM, et al.
MEK inhibitors activate Wnt signalling and induce stem cell plasticity in colorectal cancer.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):2197 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In colorectal cancer (CRC), aberrant Wnt signalling is essential for tumorigenesis and maintenance of cancer stem cells. However, how other oncogenic pathways converge on Wnt signalling to modulate stem cell homeostasis in CRC currently remains poorly understood. Using large-scale compound screens in CRC, we identify MEK1/2 inhibitors as potent activators of Wnt/β-catenin signalling. Targeting MEK increases Wnt activity in different CRC cell lines and murine intestine in vivo. Truncating mutations of APC generated by CRISPR/Cas9 strongly synergize with MEK inhibitors in enhancing Wnt responses in isogenic CRC models. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that MEK inhibition induces a rapid downregulation of AXIN1. Using patient-derived CRC organoids, we show that MEK inhibition leads to increased Wnt activity, elevated LGR5 levels and enrichment of gene signatures associated with stemness and cancer relapse. Our study demonstrates that clinically used MEK inhibitors inadvertently induce stem cell plasticity, revealing an unknown side effect of RAS pathway inhibition.

Dai J, Gao H, Xue J, et al.
The Association Between
Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2019; 23(6):393-400 [PubMed] Related Publications

Zhang Q, Huang H, Liu A, et al.
Cell division cycle 20 (CDC20) drives prostate cancer progression via stabilization of β-catenin in cancer stem-like cells.
EBioMedicine. 2019; 42:397-407 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cell division cycle 20 (CDC20) is frequently overexpressed in malignant tumours and involved in the differentiation process of hematopoietic stem cells. However, the role of CDC20 in prostate cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) remains poorly understood.
METHODS: The expression of CDC20, CD44, β-catenin were examined in prostate cancer specimens by immunohistochemistry assay, the role of CDC20 on the stem-like properties of prostate CSCs was accessed by real-time quantitive PCR, spheroid formation, in vitro and in vivo limiting dilution assay.
FINDING: CDC20 was associated with malignant progression of prostate cancer, the patients with both high expression CDC20 and CD44 or β-catenin were associated with more aggressive clinicopathological features and poor prognosis. CDC20 was usually enriched in CD44
INTERPRETATION: Our results indicated that CDC20 maintains the self-renewal ability of CD44

Götzel K, Chemnitzer O, Maurer L, et al.
In-depth characterization of the Wnt-signaling/β-catenin pathway in an in vitro model of Barrett's sequence.
BMC Gastroenterol. 2019; 19(1):38 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: An altered Wnt-signaling activation has been reported during Barrett's esophagus progression, but with rarely detected mutations in APC and β-catenin (CTNNB1) genes.
METHODS: In this study, a robust in-depth expression pattern analysis of frizzled receptors, co-receptors, the Wnt-ligands Wnt3a and Wnt5a, the Wnt-signaling downstream targets Axin2, and CyclinD1, as well as the activation of the intracellular signaling kinases Akt and GSK3β was performed in an in vitro cell culture model of Barrett's esophagus. Representing the Barrett's sequence, we used normal esophageal squamous epithelium (EPC-1, EPC-2), metaplasia (CP-A) and dysplasia (CP-B) to esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) cell lines (OE33, OE19) and primary specimens of squamous epithelium, metaplasia and EAC.
RESULTS: A loss of Wnt3a expression was observed beginning from the metaplastic cell line CP-A towards dysplasia (CP-B) and EAC (OE33 and OE19), confirmed by a lower staining index of WNT3A in Barrett's metaplasia and EAC, than in squamous epithelium specimens. Frizzled 1-10 expression analysis revealed a distinct expression pattern, showing the highest expression for Fzd2, Fzd3, Fzd4, Fzd5, Fzd7, and the co-receptor LRP5/6 in EAC cells, while Fzd3 and Fzd7 were rarely expressed in primary specimens from squamous epithelium.
CONCLUSION: Despite the absence of an in-depth characterization of Wnt-signaling-associated receptors in Barrett's esophagus, by showing variations of the Fzd- and co-receptor profiles, we provide evidence to have a significant role during Barrett's progression and the underlying pathological mechanisms.

Ni D, Liu J, Hu Y, et al.
A1CF-Axin2 signal axis regulates apoptosis and migration in Wilms tumor-derived cells through Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2019; 55(4):252-259 [PubMed] Related Publications
A1CF, a complementary factor of APOBEC-1, is involved in many cellular processes for its mRNA editing role, such as cell proliferation, apoptosis, and migration. Here, we explored the regulatory function of A1CF in Wilms tumor-derived cells. Quantitative real-time PCR was performed to detect the mRNA level of A1CF, Axin2, β-Catenin, CCND1 or NKD1 in A1CF-depleted or A1CF-overexpression G401 cells. Western bolt was used to analyze the expression of A1CF, Axin2, and β-catenin protein. The cell apoptosis and migration ability were determined using flow cytometry assay or wound healing, respectively. Our study demonstrated that overexpression of A1CF, Axin2 was upregulated and knockdown of A1CF decreased Axin2 expression at mRNA and protein levels in G401 cells. Besides, knockdown of A1CF further upregulated β-catenin, the classical regulator of Wnt signal pathway, and increased CCND1 and NKD1, the target genes of Wnt/β-catenin. Furthermore, overexpression of Axin2 partly rescued the expression of β-catenin in A1CF-deficiency stable G401 cells. In Wnt agonist BML-284 treated G401 cells, A1CF was increased like other classical regulator of Wnt signal pathway, such as Axin2 and β-catenin. Meanwhile, knockdown of Axin2 rescued β-catenin expression which was decreased in A1CF overexpression condition with BML-284. Further, overexpression of A1CF reduced cell apoptosis but promoted cell migration, and overexpression of Axin2 got similar results. In A1CF-decreased stable G401 cells, overexpression of Axin2 partly rescued the cell apoptosis and migration. We find that A1CF is a positive regulator of Axin2, a Wnt/β-catenin pathway inhibitor, and A1CF-Axin2 signal axis regulates Wilms tumor-derived cells' apoptosis and migration through Axin2.

Luke JJ, Bao R, Sweis RF, et al.
WNT/β-catenin Pathway Activation Correlates with Immune Exclusion across Human Cancers.
Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 25(10):3074-3083 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/05/2020 Related Publications
PURPOSE: The T-cell-inflamed phenotype correlates with efficacy of immune-checkpoint blockade, whereas non-T-cell-inflamed tumors infrequently benefit. Tumor-intrinsic WNT/β-catenin signaling mediates immune exclusion in melanoma, but association with the non-T-cell-inflamed tumor microenvironment in other tumor types is not well understood.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), a T-cell-inflamed gene expression signature segregated samples within tumor types. Activation of WNT/β-catenin signaling was inferred using three approaches: somatic mutations or somatic copy number alterations (SCNA) in β-catenin signaling elements including
RESULTS: Across TCGA, 3,137/9,244 (33.9%) tumors were non-T-cell-inflamed, whereas 3,161/9,244 (34.2%) were T-cell-inflamed. Non-T-cell-inflamed tumors demonstrated significantly lower expression of T-cell inflammation genes relative to matched normal tissue, arguing for loss of a natural immune phenotype. Mutations of β-catenin signaling molecules in non-T-cell-inflamed tumors were enriched three-fold relative to T-cell-inflamed tumors. Across 31 tumors, 28 (90%) demonstrated activated β-catenin signaling in the non-T-cell-inflamed subset by at least one method. This included target molecule expression from somatic mutations and/or SCNAs of β-catenin signaling elements (19 tumors, 61%), pathway analysis (14 tumors, 45%), and increased β-catenin protein levels (20 tumors, 65%).
CONCLUSIONS: Activation of tumor-intrinsic WNT/β-catenin signaling is enriched in non-T-cell-inflamed tumors. These data provide a strong rationale for development of pharmacologic inhibitors of this pathway with the aim of restoring immune cell infiltration and augmenting immunotherapy.

Ma S, Zhang WL, Leckey BD, et al.
X-ray irradiation induced Disabled-2 gene promoter de-methylation enhances radiosensitivity of non-small-cell lung carcinoma cells.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):315 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/05/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Disabled-2 (Dab2) is known as a tumor suppressor as well as a Wnt pathway inhibitor. We previously reported that Dab2 was down-regulated due to gene promoter hypermethylation in lung cancer. Here, we aim to study if X-ray irradiation can induce de-methylation of the Dab2 gene and subsequently up-regulate its expression, and also to attempt to suppress the malignant biological behavior of and enhance the radiosensitivity in lung cancer cells with hypermethylation of the Dab2 gene.
METHODS: Immunostaining was performed to investigate the relationship between Dab2 expression and lung cancer clinicopathological characteristics. Bisulfite sequencing PCR (BSP) was used to evaluate the methylation status of lung cancer cells with or without X-ray treatment. Real-time PCR and western Blot were performed to investigate the expression of Dab2, Wnt pathway factors, DNMTs and methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Colony Formation, matrigel invasion and xenograft experiment were performed to evaluate the malignant biological behavior of lung cancer cells with irradiation.
RESULTS: The result of immunostaining of Dab2 in lung cancer tissues showed that decreased Dab2 expression was positively correlated with poor differentiation, lymph node metastasis, advanced TNM stage and poor prognosis. X-ray treatment significantly up-regulated Dab2 expression and inhibited Wnt factors in LK2 cells (with hypermethylation of the Dab2 gene promoter, P < 0.05), but not in SPC-A-1 cells (with hypomethylation of the Dab2 gene promoter); however, the effect could be reversed by Dab2 or Axin knockdown (P < 0.05). Decreased expression of DNMT1, DNMT3b and MeCP2 could be detected in both LK2 and SPC-A-1 cells compared to non-irradiated cells (P < 0.05). Both in vitro studies and in vivo xenograft tumor growth demonstrated that X-ray could significantly inhibit the proliferation and invasion of LK2 but not SPC-A-1 cells (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: In general, X-ray-induced up-regulation of Dab2 and inhibition of the Wnt pathway may be mediated by de-methylation of a hypermethylated Dab2 gene promoter. X-ray treatment significantly inhibits proliferation and invasion of lung cancer cells with hypermethylation of the Dab2 gene promoter, but is less effective in lung cancer cells with hypomethylation of the Dab2 gene promoter. These results indicate that the methylation status of the Dab2 gene promoter might be a potential predictor of the radiosensitivity of lung cancer cells.

Zhang L, Cheng F, Wei Y, et al.
Inhibition of TAZ contributes radiation-induced senescence and growth arrest in glioma cells.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(15):2788-2799 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/05/2020 Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive brain tumor and resistant to current available therapeutics, such as radiation. To improve the clinical efficacy, it is important to understand the cellular mechanisms underlying tumor responses to radiation. Here, we investigated long-term cellular responses of human GBM cells to ionizing radiation. Comparing to the initial response within 12 hours, gene expression modulation at 7 days after radiation is markedly different. While genes related to cell cycle arrest and DNA damage responses are mostly modulated at the initial stage; immune-related genes are specifically affected as the long-term effect. This later response is associated with increased cellular senescence and inhibition of transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ). Mechanistically, TAZ inhibition does not depend on the canonical Hippo pathway, but relies on enhanced degradation mediated by the β-catenin destruction complex in the Wnt pathway. We further showed that depletion of TAZ by RNAi promotes radiation-induced senescence and growth arrest. Pharmacological activation of the β-catenin destruction complex is able to promote radiation-induced TAZ inhibition and growth arrest in these tumor cells. The correlation between senescence and reduced expression of TAZ as well as β-catenin also occurs in human gliomas treated by radiation. Collectively, these findings suggested that inhibition of TAZ is involved in radiation-induced senescence and might benefit GBM radiotherapy.

Timbergen MJM, Janssen ML, Verhoef C, et al.
Wnt targets genes are not differentially expressed in desmoid tumors bearing different activating β-catenin mutations.
Eur J Surg Oncol. 2019; 45(4):691-698 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Sporadic desmoid-type fibromatosis (DTF) is a rare soft tissue tumor of mesenchymal origin. It is characterized by local invasive growth and unpredictable growth behavior. Three distinct mutations involving the CTNNB1 (β-catenin) gene have been identified in the vast majority of DTF tumors, which cause activation of the Wnt signaling pathway and impact prognosis. This study examines whether the different CTNNB1 mutants (T41A, S45F) occurring in DTF tumors differentially affect Wnt signaling activity, which might explain the different disease course between DTF patients harboring different CTNNB1 mutations.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 61 formalin fixed paraffin embedded DTF samples with known CTNNB1 status was used to measure the relative mRNA expression level of Wnt target genes AXIN2, DKK1 and CCND1. Additionally, publicly available mRNA expression data retrieved from the Gene Expression Omnibus of 128 DTF samples were used for an unsupervised cluster analyses based on the expression of a selection of Wnt targets.
RESULTS: No statistically significant difference in relative expression levels of Wnt target genes AXIN2, DKK1 and CCND1 was identified between either CTNNB1 wild-type, S45F or T41A mutated DTF samples. Moreover, the hierarchical cluster analyses using selected Wnt targets did not discriminate between different CTNNB1 mutation types.
CONCLUSIONS: No differences in the expression levels of Wnt target genes were observed between the different CTNNB1 mutation types in DTF tumors. Further studies are needed to decipher the mechanism accounting for the diverse disease courses between DTF patients with different CTNNB1 variants.

Hu Z, Wang P, Lin J, et al.
MicroRNA-197 Promotes Metastasis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma by Activating Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 51(1):470-486 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: MicroRNA-197 (miR-197) has been shown to play roles in epithelialmesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is associated with EMT, but whether miR-197 regulatesWnt/β-catenin remains unclear. This study was to demonstrate the role of miR-197 on the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to detect the expression of miR-197 in 105 HCC specimens and 15 HCC cell lines. We tested the predicted target gene of miR-197 using a genetic report system. The role of miR-197 in HCC cell invasion and migration (wound healingand cell invasion and migrationby Transwell assays) and in an HCC xenograft modelwas analyzed.
RESULTS: Using a miRNA microarray analysis of HCC specimens and compared with non-metastatic HCC, miR-197 was identified as one of the most upregulated miRNAs in metastatic HCC. miR-197 expression was positively associated with the invasiveness of HCC cell lines. Metastatic HCC cells with high miR-197 expression had Wnt/β-catenin signaling activation. High levels of miR-197 expression also promoted EMT and invasionHCC cells in vitro and in vivo. miR-197 directly targeted Axin-2, Naked cuticle 1 (NKD1), and Dickkopf-related protein 2 (DKK2), leading to inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. High miR-197 expression was found in HCC specimens from patients with portal vein metastasis;high miR-197 expression correlated to the expression of Axin2, NKD1, and DKK2.
CONCLUSION: miR-197 promotes HCC invasion and metastasis by activating Wnt/β-catenin signaling. miR-197 could possibly be used as a prognostic marker and therapeutic target for HCC.

Lee M, Ko H, Yun M
Cancer Metabolism as a Mechanism of Treatment Resistance and Potential Therapeutic Target in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Yonsei Med J. 2018; 59(10):1143-1149 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/05/2020 Related Publications
Various molecular targeted therapies and diagnostic modalities have been developed for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, HCC still remains a difficult malignancy to cure. Recently, the focus has shifted to cancer metabolism for the diagnosis and treatment of various cancers, including HCC. In addition to conventional diagnostics, the measurement of enhanced tumor cell metabolism using F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) for increased glycolysis or C-11 acetate for fatty acid synthesis by positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) is well established for clinical management of HCC. Unlike tumors displaying the Warburg effect, HCCs vary substantially in terms of 18F-FDG uptake, which considerably reduces the sensitivity for tumor detection. Accordingly, C-11 acetate has been proposed as a complementary radiotracer for detecting tumors that are not identified by 18F-FDG. In addition to HCC diagnosis, since the degree of 18F-FDG uptake converted to standardized uptake value (SUV) correlates well with tumor aggressiveness, 18F-FDG PET/CT scans can predict patient outcomes such as treatment response and survival with an inverse relationship between SUV and survival. The loss of tumor suppressor genes or activation of oncogenes plays an important role in promoting HCC development, and might be involved in the "metabolic reprogramming" of cancer cells. Mutations in various genes such as

Li Z, Lim SK, Liang X, Lim YP
The transcriptional coactivator WBP2 primes triple-negative breast cancer cells for responses to Wnt signaling via the JNK/Jun kinase pathway.
J Biol Chem. 2018; 293(52):20014-20028 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/12/2019 Related Publications
The transcriptional coactivator WW domain-binding protein 2 (WBP2) is an emerging oncogene and serves as a node between the signaling protein Wnt and other signaling molecules and pathways, including epidermal growth factor receptor, estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor, and the Hippo pathway. The upstream regulation of WBP2 is well-studied, but its downstream activity remains unclear. Here, we elucidated WBP2's role in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), in which Wnt signaling is predominantly activated. Using RNAi coupled with RNA-Seq and MS analyses to identify Wnt/WBP2- and WBP2-dependent targets in MDA-MB-231 TNBC cells, we found that WBP2 is required for the expression of a core set of genes in Wnt signaling. These included

Wang S, Ma J, Zhang W, et al.
Typing tumors using pathways selected by somatic evolution.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):4159 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/12/2019 Related Publications
Many recent efforts to analyze cancer genomes involve aggregation of mutations within reference maps of molecular pathways and protein networks. Here, we find these pathway studies are impeded by molecular interactions that are functionally irrelevant to cancer or the patient's tumor type, as these interactions diminish the contrast of driver pathways relative to individual frequently mutated genes. This problem can be addressed by creating stringent tumor-specific networks of biophysical protein interactions, identified by signatures of epistatic selection during tumor evolution. Using such an evolutionarily selected pathway (ESP) map, we analyze the major cancer genome atlases to derive a hierarchical classification of tumor subtypes linked to characteristic mutated pathways. These pathways are clinically prognostic and predictive, including the TP53-AXIN-ARHGEF17 combination in liver and CYLC2-STK11-STK11IP in lung cancer, which we validate in independent cohorts. This ESP framework substantially improves the definition of cancer pathways and subtypes from tumor genome data.

Xin H, Li C, Wang M
DIXDC1 promotes the growth of acute myeloid leukemia cells by upregulating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 107:1548-1555 [PubMed] Related Publications
Accumulating evidence suggests that dysregulation of Dishevelled-Axin domain-containing 1 (DIXDC1) is involved in the progression and development of various cancers. However, little is known about the relevance of DIXDC1 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In this study, we aimed to investigate the expression status and potential biological function of DIXDC1 in AML. Our results showed that DIXDC1 expression was highly upregulated in AML cell lines and primary AML blasts compared with normal blasts. Knockdown of DIXDC1 by siRNA-mediated gene silencing significantly inhibited proliferation, induced cell cycle arrest, and promoted apoptosis of AML cells in vitro. By contrast, DIXDC1 overexpression promoted proliferation, accelerated cell cycle progression, and reduced apoptosis of AML cells. Moreover, we found that DIXDC1 knockdown decreased the expression of β-catenin and restricted the activation of Wnt signaling. In addition, DIXDC1 knockdown decreased the expression of Wnt/β-catenin target genes, including cyclin D1 and c-myc, while DIXDC1 overexpression had the opposite effect. Notably, β-catenin knockdown partially reversed the oncogenic effect of DIXDC1 in AML cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate that DIXDC1 promotes the growth of AML cells, possibly through upregulating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Our study suggests that DIXDC1 may serve as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of AML.

Mizutani A, Yashiroda Y, Muramatsu Y, et al.
RK-287107, a potent and specific tankyrase inhibitor, blocks colorectal cancer cell growth in a preclinical model.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(12):4003-4014 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/12/2019 Related Publications
Aberrant activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling causes tumorigenesis and promotes the proliferation of colorectal cancer cells. Porcupine inhibitors, which block secretion of Wnt ligands, may have only limited clinical impact for the treatment of colorectal cancer, because most colorectal cancer is caused by loss-of-function mutations of the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) downstream of Wnt ligands. Tankyrase poly(ADP-ribosyl)ates (PARylates) Axin, a negative regulator of β-catenin. This post-translational modification causes ubiquitin-dependent degradation of Axin, resulting in β-catenin accumulation. Tankyrase inhibitors downregulate β-catenin and suppress the growth of APC-mutated colorectal cancer cells. Herein, we report a novel tankyrase-specific inhibitor RK-287107, which inhibits tankyrase-1 and -2 four- and eight-fold more potently, respectively, than G007-LK, a tankyrase inhibitor that has been previously reported as effective in mouse xenograft models. RK-287107 causes Axin2 accumulation and downregulates β-catenin, T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor reporter activity and the target gene expression in colorectal cancer cells harboring the shortly truncated APC mutations. Consistently, RK-287107 inhibits the growth of APC-mutated (β-catenin-dependent) colorectal cancer COLO-320DM and SW403 cells but not the APC-wild (β-catenin-independent) colorectal cancer RKO cells. Intraperitoneal or oral administration of RK-287107 suppresses COLO-320DM tumor growth in NOD-SCID mice. Rates of tumor growth inhibition showed good correlation with the behavior of pharmacodynamic biomarkers, such as Axin2 accumulation and MYC downregulation. These observations indicate that RK-287107 exerts a proof-of-concept antitumor effect, and thus may have potential for tankyrase-directed molecular cancer therapy.

Ren Y, Tao J, Jiang Z, et al.
Pimozide suppresses colorectal cancer via inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
Life Sci. 2018; 209:267-273 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Wnt/β‑catenin signaling pathway plays important role in colorectal cancer (CRC) and acts as a potential therapeutic target. Pimozide is a FDA-approved clinical drug used to treat psychotic diseases and it has shown anticancer effect in some tumors partially via inhibition of Wnt/β‑catenin signaling pathway. This study aimed to investigate whether pimozide exerts anticancer effect on CRC and explore underlying mechanism.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Pimozide was administrated to treat HCT116 and SW480 cells. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blot were used to detect the expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition markers and Wnt/β‑catenin signaling pathway-related proteins. Cell proliferation and migration were measured by Cell Counting Kit-8 and Transwell assays respectively. HCT116 and SW480 cells were subcutaneously injected into nude mice and when the volume of tumor grown measureable (approximately 100 mm
CONCLUSION: Pimozide exerts anticancer effect in CRC via inhibition of wnt/β‑catenin signaling pathway, suggesting it as a potential therapeutic drug for CRC.

Prossomariti A, Piazzi G, D'Angelo L, et al.
miR-155 Is Downregulated in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Modulates WNT Signaling by Targeting AXIN1 and TCF4.
Mol Cancer Res. 2018; 16(12):1965-1976 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (

Leeksma AC, Taylor J, Wu B, et al.
Clonal diversity predicts adverse outcome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Leukemia. 2019; 33(2):390-402 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genomic analyses of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) identified somatic mutations and associations of clonal diversity with adverse outcomes. Clonal evolution likely has therapeutic implications but its dynamic is less well studied. We studied clonal composition and prognostic value of seven recurrently mutated driver genes using targeted next-generation sequencing in 643 CLL patients and found higher frequencies of mutations in TP53 (35 vs. 12%, p < 0.001) and SF3B1 (20 vs. 11%, p < 0.05) and increased number of (sub)clonal (p < 0.0001) mutations in treated patients. We next performed an in-depth evaluation of clonal evolution on untreated CLL patients (50 "progressors" and 17 matched "non-progressors") using a 404 gene-sequencing panel and identified novel mutated genes such as AXIN1, SDHA, SUZ12, and FOXO3. Progressors carried more mutations at initial presentation (2.5 vs. 1, p < 0.0001). Mutations in specific genes were associated with increased (SF3B1, ATM, and FBXW7) or decreased progression risk (AXIN1 and MYD88). Mutations affecting specific signaling pathways, such as Notch and MAP kinase pathway were enriched in progressive relative to non-progressive patients. These data extend earlier findings that specific genomic alterations and diversity of subclones are associated with disease progression and persistence of disease in CLL and identify novel recurrently mutated genes and associated outcomes.

Su Z, Song J, Wang Z, et al.
Tumor promoter TPA activates Wnt/β-catenin signaling in a casein kinase 1-dependent manner.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018; 115(32):E7522-E7531 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/12/2019 Related Publications
The tumor promoter 12-

Wei YL, Hua J, Liu XY, et al.
LncNEN885 inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition by partially regulation of Wnt/β-catenin signalling in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(10):3139-3148 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/12/2019 Related Publications
It has been shown that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are involved in the carcinogenesis of multiple cancers. However, the roles of lncRNAs in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (GEP-NENs) remain elusive. In the present study, we found that lncNEN885 was markedly decreased in human gastric NEN samples compared to adjacent normal tissues by transcriptome sequencing. Functionally, silencing or overexpression of lncNEN885 could not obviously affect cell proliferation or apoptosis in BON-1 or LCC-18 cells but could affect cell migration and invasion as well as wound-healing rates. Furthermore, dysregulation of lncNEN885 affected these biological functions by activating epithelial-mesenchymal transition through increased expression of Snail, vimentin, and N-cadherin as well as decreased E-cadherin levels in BON-1 and LCC-18 cells. Silencing of lncNEN885 could dramatically increase the phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β and decrease the expression of adenomatous polyposis coli and Axin, with the subsequent accumulation of β-catenin. Taken together, dysregulation of lncNEN885 can regulate cell migration and invasion by activating epithelial-mesenchymal transition process partially through canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling in GEP-NEN cells, which may be a novel biomarker for the metastasis of GEP-NENs.

Mao X, Tong J, Wang Y, et al.
Triptolide exhibits antitumor effects by reversing hypermethylation of WIF‑1 in lung cancer cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 18(3):3041-3049 [PubMed] Related Publications
Triptolide (TP) exhibits numerous biological activities, including immunosuppressive, anti‑inflammatory and antitumor effects. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of TP as a potent therapeutic drug for the treatment of lung cancer and to investigate the underlying therapeutic mechanisms. Western blot analyses and reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were performed to investigate the expression of genes at transcriptional and translational levels, respectively. Methylation‑specific PCR assays were conducted to investigate whether TP affects the Wnt inhibitory factor‑1 (WIF‑1) methylation status and subsequently affects apoptosis, migration or the invasion of lung cancer cells. The results of the present study revealed that the methylation status of WIF‑1 in lung cancer cell lines A549 and H460 was significantly enhanced compared with the human normal bronchial epithelial cell line HBE, whereas treatment with TP was revealed to induce the demethylation of WIF‑1. The present study aimed to investigate whether the biological activities of TP are regulated by inhibiting the Wnt signaling pathway via an increase in WIF‑1 expression levels. The results of the present study revealed that Wnt signaling was suppressed in cells following treatment with TP, which was concluded by the downregulation of Axin 2 and β‑catenin expression. Further investigation demonstrated that the silencing of WIF‑1 expression with small interfering RNA reversed the TP‑induced upregulation of WIF‑1 expression, upregulated Axin 2 and β‑catenin expression and enhanced the activation of Wnt signaling. Notably, an upregulation of cellular tumor antigen p53 expression, and downregulation of matrix metalloproteinase‑9 (MMP‑9) and phosphorylated‑nuclear factor‑κB (NF‑κB) P65 (p‑P65) levels was observed following TP treatment. These results suggest that the Wnt, p53 and NF‑κB signaling pathways mediate the potent antitumor effects of TP. Notably, the silencing of WIF‑1 did not completely recover the levels of p53, MMP‑9 and p‑P65 in cells treated with TP compared with the control cells, thus suggesting that TP exhibits further functions in addition to the targeting of WIF‑1.

Shen J, Yu Z, Li N
The E3 ubiquitin ligase RNF146 promotes colorectal cancer by activating the Wnt/β-catenin pathway via ubiquitination of Axin1.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 503(2):991-997 [PubMed] Related Publications
The E3 ubiquitin ligase ring finger protein 146 (RNF146) has been implicated in tumor development. However, the role and clinical significance of RNF146 in colorectal cancer (CRC) remain unknown. In this study, we reported for the first time that RNF146 was upregulated in CRC tissues as well as in cell lines. Further, RNF146 expression was independent prognostic factor for poor outcome of CRC patients. RNF146 knockdown in cell lines inhibited cell growth, promoted cell apoptosis in vitro and suppressed colorectal tumor growth in vivo. Mechanistic investigations revealed that RNF146 exerted oncogenic role through ubiquitination of Axin1 to activate β-catenin signaling. In addition, RNF146 expression was positively correlated with β-catenin expression in CRC tissues. Collectively, our data suggest that RNF146 might function as a oncogene in human CRC, and represent a promising prognostic factor and a valuable therapeutic target for CRC.

Paranjyothi MV, Kumaraswamy KL, Begum LF, et al.
Tooth agenesis: A susceptible indicator for colorectal cancer?
J Cancer Res Ther. 2018 Apr-Jun; 14(3):527-531 [PubMed] Related Publications
Context/Background: Tooth agenesis (excluding third molars) is a common congenital disorder that affects 2.2-10% of the general population. A number of different genes have been shown to be associated with cases of tooth agenesis including AXIN2, IRF6, FGFR1, MSX1, PAX9, and TGFA. Wingless/integration signaling gene, AXIN2, is linked to tooth agenesis and also to colorectal cancer (CRC).
Aims: To analyze the correlation between tooth agenesis and CRC.
Materials and Methods: The study included 50 individuals, who were divided into two groups. Group A: 25 individuals diagnosed with CRC and Group B: 25 individuals as a control group. The clinical details were recorded using preformed questionnaire, approved by ethical committee. Orthopantomogram was obtained for all the cases and controls.
Results: We observed that 16% of cases and 8% of controls reported having tooth agenesis and there was no statistical significance of difference between them (P = 0.384). Among the study group, 4% reported oligodontia and 12% cases reported hypodontia. In the control group 8% reported hypodontia, there was no incidence of oligodontia. Additional finding in the study group was that 24% cases had fissured tongue which was not seen in the control group.
Conclusion: Individuals with tooth agenesis might have an increased risk for CRC. A larger epidemiological study along with genetic mapping and gene sequencing is necessary to rule out the risk and relationship between tooth agenesis and CRC.

Katoh M
Multi‑layered prevention and treatment of chronic inflammation, organ fibrosis and cancer associated with canonical WNT/β‑catenin signaling activation (Review).
Int J Mol Med. 2018; 42(2):713-725 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/12/2019 Related Publications
β‑catenin/CTNNB1 is an intracellular scaffold protein that interacts with adhesion molecules (E‑cadherin/CDH1, N‑cadherin/CDH2, VE‑cadherin/CDH5 and α‑catenins), transmembrane‑type mucins (MUC1/CD227 and MUC16/CA125), signaling regulators (APC, AXIN1, AXIN2 and NHERF1/EBP50) and epigenetic or transcriptional regulators (BCL9, BCL9L, CREBBP/CBP, EP300/p300, FOXM1, MED12, SMARCA4/BRG1 and TCF/LEF). Gain‑of‑function CTTNB1 mutations are detected in bladder cancer, colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and uterine cancer, whereas loss‑of‑function CTNNB1 mutations are also detected in human cancer. ABCB1, ALDH1A1, ASCL2, ATF3, AXIN2, BAMBI, CCND1, CD44, CLDN1, CTLA4, DKK1, EDN1, EOMES, FGF18, FGF20, FZD7, IL10, JAG1, LEF1, LGR5, MITF, MSX1, MYC, NEUROD1, NKD1, NODAL, NOTCH2, NOTUM, NRCAM, OPN, PAX3, PPARD, PTGS2, RNF43, SNAI1, SP5, TCF7, TERT, TNFRSF19, VEGFA and ZNRF3 are representative β‑catenin target genes. β‑catenin signaling is involved in myofibroblast activation and subsequent pulmonary fibrosis, in addition to other types of fibrosis. β‑catenin and NF‑κB signaling activation are involved in field cancerization in the stomach associated with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and in the liver associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and other etiologies. β‑catenin‑targeted therapeutics are functionally classified into β‑catenin inhibitors targeting upstream regulators (AZ1366, ETC‑159, G007‑LK, GNF6231, ipafricept, NVP‑TNKS656, rosmantuzumab, vantictumab, WNT‑C59, WNT974 and XAV939), β‑catenin inhibitors targeting protein‑protein interactions (CGP049090, CWP232228, E7386, ICG‑001, LF3 and PRI‑724), β‑catenin inhibitors targeting epigenetic regulators (PKF118‑310), β‑catenin inhibitors targeting mediator complexes (CCT251545 and cortistatin A) and β‑catenin inhibitors targeting transmembrane‑type transcriptional outputs, including CD44v6, FZD7 and LGR5. Eradicating H. pylori and HCV is the optimal approach for the first‑line prevention of gastric cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), respectively. However, β‑catenin inhibitors may be applicable for the prevention of organ fibrosis, second‑line HCC prevention and treating β‑catenin‑driven cancer. The multi‑layered prevention and treatment strategy of β‑catenin‑related human diseases is necessary for the practice of personalized medicine and implementation of precision medicine.

Khan F, Ricks-Santi LJ, Zafar R, et al.
Expression of p27 and c-Myc by immunohistochemistry in breast ductal cancers in African American women.
Ann Diagn Pathol. 2018; 34:170-174 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/12/2019 Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Proteins p27 and c-Myc are both key players in the cell cycle. While p27, a tumor suppressor, inhibits progression from G1 to S phase, c-Myc, a proto-oncogene, plays a key role in cell cycle regulation and apoptosis. The objective of our study was to determine the association between expression of c-Myc and the loss of p27 by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in the four major subtypes of breast cancer (BC) (Luminal A, Luminal B, HER2, and Triple Negative) and with other clinicopathological factors in a population of 202 African-American (AA) women.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tissue microarrays (TMAs) were constructed from FFPE tumor blocks from primary ductal breast carcinomas in 202 AA women. Five micrometer sections were stained with a mouse monoclonal antibody against p27 and a rabbit monoclonal antibody against c-Myc. The sections were evaluated for intensity of nuclear reactivity (1-3) and percentage of reactive cells; an H-score was derived from the product of these measurements.
RESULTS: Loss of p27 expression and c-Myc overexpression showed statistical significance with ER negative (p < 0.0001), PR negative (p < 0.0001), triple negative (TN) (p < 0.0001), grade 3 (p = 0.038), and overall survival (p = 0.047). There was no statistical significant association between c-Myc expression/p27 loss and luminal A/B and Her2 overexpressing subtypes.
CONCLUSION: In our study, a statistically significant association between c-Myc expression and p27 loss and the triple negative breast cancers (TNBC) was found in AA women. A recent study found that constitutive c-Myc expression is associated with inactivation of the axin 1 tumor suppressor gene. p27 inhibits cyclin dependent kinase2/cyclin A/E complex formation. Axin 1 and CDK inhibitors may represent possible therapeutic targets for TNBC.

Vallée A, Lecarpentier Y
Crosstalk Between Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma and the Canonical WNT/β-Catenin Pathway in Chronic Inflammation and Oxidative Stress During Carcinogenesis.
Front Immunol. 2018; 9:745 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/12/2019 Related Publications
Inflammation and oxidative stress are common and co-substantial pathological processes accompanying, promoting, and even initiating numerous cancers. The canonical WNT/β-catenin pathway and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) generally work in opposition. If one of them is upregulated, the other one is downregulated and

Jucá CEB, Colli LM, Martins CS, et al.
Impact of the Canonical Wnt Pathway Activation on the Pathogenesis and Prognosis of Adamantinomatous Craniopharyngiomas.
Horm Metab Res. 2018; 50(7):575-581 [PubMed] Related Publications

Luo X, Liu Y, Ma S, et al.
STIP1 is over-expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma and promotes the growth and migration of cancer cells.
Gene. 2018; 662:110-117 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is frequently activated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Better understanding the mechanism for its over-activation would help the therapy. In this study, we have shown that the stress-induced phosphoprotein 1 (STIP1) is up-regulated in the HCC tissues. Functional studies showed that STIP1 promoted the growth, colony formation and migration of cancer cells. However, knocking down the expression of STIP1 inhibited the growth, colony formation and migration of cancer cells. Molecular mechanism study showed that STIP1 interacted with Axin, enhanced the interaction between Axin and DVL2, thus activated beta-catenin/TCF signaling. Taken together, our study demonstrated the oncogenic roles of STIP1 in the progression of HCC, and suggested that STIP1 might be a therapeutic target.

Cui L, Zhao J, Liu J
Pyrvinium Sensitizes Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Response to Chemotherapy Via Casein Kinase 1α-Dependent Inhibition of Wnt/β-Catenin.
Am J Med Sci. 2018; 355(3):274-280 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant Wnt/β-catenin activation has been shown to play essential roles in cancer, including renal cell carcinoma (RCC). In this work, we demonstrate that Wnt/β-catenin inhibition by a Food and Drug Administration-approved drug, pyrvinium, effectively targets clear cell RCC and enhances chemotherapy agent's efficacy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed in vitro cell culture assays and in vivo xenograft tumor model to evaluate the effects of pyrvinium alone and its combination with paclitaxel, and analyzed the underlying mechanism(s) of pyrvinium's action in RCC.
RESULTS: We show that pyrvinium inhibits growth and induces apoptosis via caspase pathway in a panel of RCC cell lines. It decreases β-catenin activity and its downstream Wnt-targeted genes transcription via axin-mediated β-catenin protein reduction. Overexpression of β-catenin completely reverses the effects of pyrvinium, demonstrating that β-catenin inhibition is required for pyrvinium's action in clear cell RCC. Furthermore, we found that pyrvinium failed to decrease β-catenin protein level and activity in casein kinase 1α (CK1α)-depleted clear cell RCC cells, demonstrating that pyrvinium inhibits β-catenin in a CK1α-dependent manner. Notably, decreased tumor growth and β-catenin levels were observed in clear cell RCC xenograft mouse model treated with pyrvinium. Combination of pyrvinium and paclitaxel resulted in greater efficacy in in vitro and in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that pyrvinium is a useful addition to the treatment armamentarium for clear cell RCC. Our work also demonstrate that targeting Wnt/β-catenin is a potential therapeutic strategy in clear cell RCC.

Kim WK, Byun WS, Chung HJ, et al.
Esculetin suppresses tumor growth and metastasis by targeting Axin2/E-cadherin axis in colorectal cancer.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2018; 152:71-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most common malignant disease worldwide due to its metastasis via the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process. E-cadherin and Wnt signaling are emerging as potential targets for suppressing the EMT. In this context, Axin2 has been recognized as a negative regulator that inhibits glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β)-mediated degradation of Snail1, a transcriptional repressor of E-cadherin. However, Axin2 can also impede Wnt signaling via β-catenin degradation. Therefore, Axin2 may serve as either a promoter or suppressor of tumors, and the effects of its inhibition on the cell proliferation and metastasis of CRC require further elucidation. Here, esculetin (ES), a coumarin, was found to have the most potential effects on both β-catenin-responsive transcriptional and E-cadherin promoter activities. ES also showed anti-proliferative and anti-invasive activities in CRC cells. Mechanistically, Axin2 suppression by ES contributed to E-cadherin-mediated Wnt signaling inhibition. Moreover, the ability of ES to inhibit tumor growth and metastasis via Axin2 suppression was further supported in an HCT116-implanted orthotopic mouse model. Collectively, these findings suggest that targeting the Axin2/E-cadherin axis by ES may be an attractive therapeutic strategy for the treatment of metastatic CRC.

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