Gene Summary

Gene:AXIN2; axin 2
Summary:The Axin-related protein, Axin2, presumably plays an important role in the regulation of the stability of beta-catenin in the Wnt signaling pathway, like its rodent homologs, mouse conductin/rat axil. In mouse, conductin organizes a multiprotein complex of APC (adenomatous polyposis of the colon), beta-catenin, glycogen synthase kinase 3-beta, and conductin, which leads to the degradation of beta-catenin. Apparently, the deregulation of beta-catenin is an important event in the genesis of a number of malignancies. The AXIN2 gene has been mapped to 17q23-q24, a region that shows frequent loss of heterozygosity in breast cancer, neuroblastoma, and other tumors. Mutations in this gene have been associated with colorectal cancer with defective mismatch repair. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 30 August, 2019


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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 30 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 30 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: AXIN2 (cancer-related)

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

Wang L, Wang H, Wang T, et al.
Analysis of polymorphisms in genes associated with the FA/BRCA pathway in three patients with multiple primary malignant neoplasms.
Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol. 2019; 47(1):1101-1112 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cases of more than three primary cancers are very rare. This study analyzed the genetic susceptibility of gene polymorphisms in three patients with multiple primary malignant neoplasms and examined the possible pathogenesis. The clinical data and whole genome sequence of three patients (1 with 5 primary cancers, 1 with 4 primary cancers, and 1 with 3 primary cancers) were aligned with a series of databases. We found the three patients contained a total of seven types of malignant tumours (endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, ureter cancer, bladder cancer and kidney cancer). It was found that the varied genes in Patient 1 (5 primary cancers) were BRIP1, FANCG, NBN, AXIN2, SRD5A2, and CEBPA. Patient 2 (4 primary cancers) had variations in the following genes: BMPR1A, FANCD2, MLH3, BRCA2, and FANCM. Patient 3 (3 primary cancers) had variations in the following genes: MEN1, ATM, MSH3, BRCA1, FANCL, CEBPA, and FANCA. String software was used to analyze the KEGG pathway of the variations in these three samples, which revealed that the genes are involved in the Fanconi anaemia pathway. Defects in DNA damage repair may be one of the causes of multiple primary cancers.

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.

Chen L, Lu D, Sun K, et al.
Identification of biomarkers associated with diagnosis and prognosis of colorectal cancer patients based on integrated bioinformatics analysis.
Gene. 2019; 692:119-125 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The current study aimed to identify potential diagnostic and prognostic gene biomarkers for colorectal cancer (CRC) based on the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset.
METHODS: Microarray data of gene expression profiles of CRC from GEO and RNA-sequencing dataset of CRC from TCGA were downloaded. After screening overlapping differentially expressed genes (DEGs) by R software, functional enrichment analyses of the DEGs were performed using the DAVID database. Then, the STRING database and Cytoscape were used to construct a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and identify hub genes. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were conducted to assess the diagnostic values of the hub genes. Cox proportional hazards regression was performed to screen the potential prognostic genes. Kaplan-Meier curve and the time-dependent ROC curve were used to assess the prognostic values of the potential prognostic genes for CRC patients.
RESULTS: Integrated analysis of GEO and TCGA databases revealed 207 common DEGs in CRC. A PPI network consisted of 70 nodes and 170 edges were constructed and top 10 hub genes were identified. The area under curve (AUC) of the ROC curves of the hub genes were 0.900, 0.927, 0.869, 0.863, 0.980, 0.682, 0.903, 0.790, 0.995, and 0.989 for CCL19, CXCL1, CXCL5, CXCL11, CXCL12, GNG4, INSL5, NMU, PYY, and SST, respectively. A prognostic gene signature consisted of 9 genes including SLC4A4, NFE2L3, GLDN, PCOLCE2, TIMP1, CCL28, SCGB2A1, AXIN2, and MMP1 was constructed with a good performance in predicting overall survivals of CRC patients. The AUC of the time-dependent ROC curve was 0.741 for 5-year survival.
CONCLUSION: The results in this study might provide some directive significance for further exploring the potential biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis prediction of CRC patients.

Wang F, Zhu W, Yang R, et al.
LncRNA ZEB2-AS1 contributes to the tumorigenesis of gastric cancer via activating the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2019; 456(1-2):73-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Studies have shown that long noncoding RNA Zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 2 antisense RNA 1 (ZEB2-AS1) is involved in the progression of lung cancer, bladder cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, its role in the pathogenesis of gastric cancer remains unknown. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway contributes to the development of gastric cancer. ZEB2-AS1 expression was firstly detected in the gastric carcinoma tissue samples as well as in gastric cancer cells. Knockdown of ZEB2-AS1 was performed by ZEB2-AS1-shRNA, and the viability, migration, invasion, and apoptosis of gastric cancer cells were determined by CCK-8, scratch assay, transwell, and flow cytometry, respectively. Furthermore, levels of Ki-67, PCNA, VEGF, MMP9, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers (E-cadherin, Vimentin and ZEB2), cleaved caspase 3/8/9 and PARP, active β-catenin, c-Myc, cyclinD1, and AXIN2 were assayed by Western blot or real-time PCR. Additionally, the role and mechanism of ZEB2-AS1 were confirmed in a xenograft nude mouse model. We found ZEB2-AS1 expression was increased in gastric carcinoma samples, and it was correlated with tumor progression. Also, its expression was elevated in gastric cancer cells. Knockdown of ZEB2-AS1 reduced the proliferation, migration, invasion, and EMT, but increased the apoptosis of gastric carcinoma cells. Furthermore, ZEB2-AS1 downregulation remarkably suppressed the expression of Ki-67, PCNA, VEGF and MMP9, and the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, whereas elevated the levels of cleaved caspase 3/8/9 and PARP in gastric cancer cells. And ZEB2 overexpression reversed the effects of ZEB2-AS1 downregulation on the proliferation, EMT and inactivation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Additionally, ZEB2-AS1 knockdown inhibited tumor growth, Ki-67 staining, and the expression of VEGF, MMP9, active β-catenin, c-Myc, cyclinD1, and AXIN2 in mice. In conclusion, ZEB2-AS1 promotes the tumorigenesis of gastric carcinoma that is related to the upregulation of ZEB2 and the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

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.

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.

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

Le PN, Keysar SB, Miller B, et al.
Wnt signaling dynamics in head and neck squamous cell cancer tumor-stroma interactions.
Mol Carcinog. 2019; 58(3):398-410 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Wnt pathway activation maintains the cancer stem cell (CSC) phenotype and promotes tumor progression, making it an attractive target for anti-cancer therapy. Wnt signaling at the tumor and tumor microenvironment (TME) front have not been investigated in depth in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In a cohort of 48 HNSCCs, increased Wnt signaling, including Wnt genes (AXIN2, LGR6, WISP1) and stem cell factors (RET, SOX5, KIT), were associated with a more advanced clinical stage. Key Wnt pathway proteins were most abundant at the cancer epithelial-stromal boundary. To investigate these observations, we generated three pairs of cancer-cancer associated fibroblast (CAF) cell lines derived from the same HNSCC patients. 3D co-culture of cancer spheres and CAFs mimicked these in vivo interactions, and using these we observed increased expression of Wnt genes (eg, WNT3A, WNT7A, WNT16) in both compartments. Of these Wnt ligands, we found Wnt3a, and less consistently Wnt16, activated Wnt signaling in both cancer cells and CAFs. Wnt activation increased CSC characteristics like sphere formation and invasiveness, which was further regulated by the presence of CAFs. Time lapse microscopy also revealed preferential Wnt activation of cancer cells. Wnt inhibitors, OMP-18R5 and OMP-54F28, significantly reduced growth of HNSCC patient-derived xenografts and suppressed Wnt activation at the tumor epithelial-stromal boundary. Taken together, our findings suggest that Wnt signaling is initiated in cancer cells which then activate CAFs, and in turn perpetuate a paracrine signaling loop. This suggests that targeting Wnt signaling in the TME is essential.

Wu Y, Fang G, Wang X, et al.
NUP153 overexpression suppresses the proliferation of colorectal cancer by negatively regulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and predicts good prognosis.
Cancer Biomark. 2019; 24(1):61-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Nucleoporin NUP153 (NUP153) is well known to be involved in the regulating of nuclear transport. Although NUP153 is associated with several cancers, its role in colorectal cancer (CRC) and the underlying mechanism are still unknown.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to access the effect of NUP153 on the prognosis of patients with CRC, and cancer cell proliferation.
METHODS: The expression levels of NUP153 in CRC tissues and matched normal colon tissues were examined by real-time quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry. Then the association between NUP153 levels with clinical variables as well as survival time was investigated. Moreover, overexpression of NUP153 in HCT116 cells was established to study its influence on cell proliferation in vitro, and a xenograft model was performed to explore this effect in vivo.
RESULTS: We found that NUP153 was highly expressed in adjacent normal tissues than in cancer tissues, and elevated NUP153 expression was negatively associated with pathological grade (P= 0.015), T stage (P= 0.048) and distant metastasis (P= 0.006). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that patients with higher NUP153 expression had a longer overall survival (OS) (P= 0.01) and recurrence free disease (RFS) (P= 0.001). Logistic regression analysis further identified NUP153 as an independent prognostic safe factor for OS and recurrence. Moreover, NUP153 overexpression suppressed CRC cells proliferation and inhibited tumor growth in a xenograft model. Its mechanistic investigations showed that NUP153 overexpression inhibited β-catenin transcriptional activity and down-regulated the mRNA expression levels of Wnt downstream proteins-Axin2, cyclinD1, c-myc and lef-1.
CONCLUSIONS: NUP153 might be a promising prognostic factor, a potential tumor suppressor and therapeutic target in human CRC through an interaction with the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

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 01/03/2020 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.

Wu Y, Chen W, Gong L, et al.
Elevated G-Protein Receptor 125 (GPR125) Expression Predicts Good Outcomes in Colorectal Cancer and Inhibits Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway.
Med Sci Monit. 2018; 24:6608-6616 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND G-protein receptor 125 (GPR125), as a transmembrane signal transducer, is involved in regulating cancer development. Although GPR125 is related with several cancers, its role in colorectal cancer (CRC) and the underlying mechanism are still unknown. Here, we investigated the clinical significance of GPR125 in CRC. MATERIAL AND METHODS We assessed the expression level of GPR125 in CRC tissues by analyzing 3 datasets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database and in human samples. The correlation between GPR125 expression and clinicopathological features was further analyzed. Survival analysis was performed to assess the association between GPR125 expression and recurrence-free survival (RFS). Cox logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the role of GPR125 expression in overall survival (OS). Moreover, we activated the Wnt pathway in HCT116 cells to investigate their potential mechanism. RESULTS Analysis of the GEO database showed that the expression of GPR125 was down-regulated in CRC tissues, consistent with our human samples experiments, and patients with higher GPR125 expression had a longer RFS. Also, we found that high GPR125 expression was associated with better tumor outcomes in clinical stage, metastasis, and KRAS status. Cox logistic regression analysis demonstrated that GPR125 was an independent prognostic factor for favorable outcome. Mechanistically, GPR125 overexpression inhibited the β-catenin transcriptional activity, and down-regulated the expression levels of the Wnt downstream proteins-Axin2, c-Myc, cylinD1, and lef-1. CONCLUSIONS GPR125 may be a potential prognosis-related anti-oncogene and its effects on inactivating Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway might be a key link to inhibiting CRC formation.

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 (

Hedrick E, Mohankumar K, Safe S
TGFβ-Induced Lung Cancer Cell Migration Is NR4A1-Dependent.
Mol Cancer Res. 2018; 16(12):1991-2002 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
TGFβ induces migration of lung cancer cells (A549, H460, and H1299), dependent on activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK1), and is inhibited by the JNK1 inhibitor SP600125. Moreover, TGFβ-induced migration of the cells is also blocked by the nuclear export inhibitor leptomycin B (LMB) and the orphan nuclear receptor 4A1 (NR4A1) ligand 1,1-bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(

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.

Kim SH, Park KH, Shin SJ, et al.
CpG Island Methylator Phenotype and Methylation of Wnt Pathway Genes Together Predict Survival in Patients with Colorectal Cancer.
Yonsei Med J. 2018; 59(5):588-594 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Dysregulation of the Wnt pathway is a crucial step in the tumorigenesis of colorectal cancer (CRC). This study aimed to determine whether DNA methylation of Wnt pathway genes helps predict treatment response and survival in patients with metastatic or recurrent CRC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively collected primary tumor tissues from 194 patients with metastatic or recurrent CRC. Pyrosequencing was used to examine the methylation of 10 CpG island loci in DNA extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens. To elucidate the predictive role of DNA methylation markers, Kaplan-Meier survival estimation and Cox regression were performed for progression-free survival and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS: The methylation frequencies of the 10 genes analyzed (p16, p14, MINT1, MINT2, MINT31, hMLH1, DKK3, WNT5A, AXIN2, and TFAP2E) were 47.9%, 10.8%, 21.1%, 16.0%, 20.6%, 0.5%, 53.1%, 32.0%, 2.6%, and 2.1%, respectively. We divided patients into three groups based on the number of methylated genes (group 1, no methylation n=38; group 2, 1-2 methylations n=92; group 3, 3 or more methylations n=64). Among patients treated with palliative chemotherapy (n=167), median OSs of groups 1, 2, and 3 were 39.1, 39.7, and 29.1 months, respectively (log rank p=0.013). After adjustment, number of methylations was identified as an independent poor prognostic factor (0-2 methylated vs. ≥3 methylated: hazard ratio, 1.72; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-2.56, p=0.007).
CONCLUSION: This study suggests that methylation of Wnt pathway genes, in addition to known CpG island methylator phenotype markers, may help predict treatment outcome and survival in patients with CRC.

Kumar MS, Adki KM
Marine natural products for multi-targeted cancer treatment: A future insight.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 105:233-245 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer is world's second largest alarming disease, which involves abnormal cell growth and have potential to spread to other parts of the body. Most of the available anticancer drugs are designed to act on specific targets by altering the activity of involved transporters and genes. As cancer cells exhibit complex cellular machinery, the regeneration of cancer tissues and chemo resistance towards the therapy has been the main obstacle in cancer treatment. This fact encourages the researchers to explore the multitargeted use of existing medicines to overcome the shortcomings of chemotherapy for alternative and safer treatment strategies. Recent developments in genomics-proteomics and an understanding of the molecular pharmacology of cancer have also challenged researchers to come up with target-based drugs. The literature supports the evidence of natural compounds exhibiting antioxidant, antimitotic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic as well as anticancer activity. In this review, we have selected marine sponges as a prolific source of bioactive compounds which can be explored for their possible use in cancer and have tried to link their role in cancer pathway. To prove this, we revisited the literature for the selection of cancer genes for the multitargeted use of existing drugs and natural products. We used Cytoscape network analysis and Search tool for retrieval of interacting genes/ proteins (STRING) to study the possible interactions to show the links between the antioxidants, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and antimitotic agents and their targets for their possible use in cancer. We included total 78 pathways, their genes and natural compounds from the above four pharmacological classes used in cancer treatment for multitargeted approach. Based on the Cytoscape network analysis results, we shortlist 22 genes based on their average shortest path length connecting one node to all other nodes in a network. These selected genes are CDKN2A, FH, VHL, STK11, SUFU, RB1, MEN1, HRPT2, EXT1, 2, CDK4, p14, p16, TSC1, 2, AXIN2, SDBH C, D, NF1, 2, BHD, PTCH, GPC3, CYLD and WT1. The selected genes were analysed using STRING for their protein-protein interactions. Based on the above findings, we propose the selected genes to be considered as major targets and are suggested to be studied for discovering marine natural products as drug lead in cancer treatment.

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 01/12/2019 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.

Bahl C, Singh N, Behera D, Sharma S
High-order gene interactions between the genetic polymorphisms in Wnt and AhR pathway in modulating lung cancer susceptibility.
Per Med. 2017; 14(6):487-502 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Genetic variations present within Wnt and AhR pathway might be related to the lung cancer susceptibility.
METHODS: A total of 555 subjects were genotyped using PCR-RFLP technique for polymorphic sites in DKK4, DKK3, DKK2, sFRP3, sFRP4, Axin2 and AhR. Multifactor dimensionality reduction method and classification and regression tree analysis was used.
RESULTS: Overall sFRP4
CONCLUSION: Both DKK2 and sFRP4 polymorphisms are found to play a crucial role; especially for smokers towards modulating risk for lung cancer. AhR variants are contributing maximally toward lung cancer risk.

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.

Sato M, Yamamoto H, Hatanaka Y, et al.
Wnt/β-catenin signal alteration and its diagnostic utility in basal cell adenoma and histologically similar tumors of the salivary gland.
Pathol Res Pract. 2018; 214(4):586-592 [PubMed] Related Publications
Differential diagnosis among basal cell adenoma (BCA), basal cell adenocarcinoma (BCAC), adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) and pleomorphic adenoma (PA) of the salivary gland can be challenging due to their similar histological appearance. Although frequent nuclear β-catenin expression and CTNNB1 mutations have been reported in BCA, further details of the Wnt/β-catenin signal alterations are unclear. The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic utility of Wnt/β-catenin signal alteration in BCA and morphological mimics. We performed immunohistochemical staining for β-catenin and mutation analysis for Wnt/β-catenin-related genes (CTNNB1, APC, AXIN1 and AXIN2) in BCA (n = 34), BCAC (n = 3), ACC (n = 67) and PA (n = 31). We also analyzed ACC-specific MYB and MYBL1 gene rearrangements by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Nuclear β-catenin expression (≥3%) was present in 32/34 cases (94.1%) of BCA, and the nuclear β-catenin labeling index was significantly higher than in other tumor types (p = < 0.0001). In BCA, we found mutations in CTNNB1, APC and AXIN1 genes (41.1%, 2.9% and 8.8%, respectively). In BCAC, nuclear β-catenin expression with CTNNB1 mutation was present in 1/3 cases (33.3%). As for ACC, nuclear β-catenin expression was observed in 3/67 cases (4.4%), but all 3 cases harbored either MYB or MYBL1 gene rearrangement. The results suggest that nuclear β-catenin immunoreactivity with appropriate criteria may be helpful to distinguish BCA from histologically similar tumors. However, a minor subset of ACCs with nuclear β-catenin expression require careful diagnosis. In addition, Wnt/β-catenin signal alteration may play a role in the pathogenesis of BCA and BCAC.

Yu S, Wang Z, Su Z, et al.
Gigantol inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling and exhibits anticancer activity in breast cancer cells.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018; 18(1):59 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gigantol is a bibenzyl compound derived from several medicinal orchids. This biologically active compound has been shown to have promising therapeutic potential against cancer cells, but its mechanism of action remains unclear.
METHODS: The inhibitory effect of gigantol on Wnt/β-catenin signaling was evaluated with the SuperTOPFlash reporter system. The levels of phosphorylated low-density lipoprotein receptor related protein 6 (LRP6), total LRP6 and cytosolic β-catenin were determined by Western blot analysis. The expression of Wnt target genes was analyzed using real-time PCR. Cell viability was measured with a MTT assay. The effect of gigantol on cell migration was examined using scratch wound-healing and transwell migration assays.
RESULTS: Gigantol decreased the level of phosphorylated LRP6 and cytosolic β-catenin in HEK293 cells. In breast cancer MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 cells, treatment with gigantol reduced the level of phosphorylated LRP6, total LRP6 and cytosolic β-catenin in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in a decrease in the expression of Wnt target genes Axin2 and Survivin. We further demonstrated that gigantol suppressed the viability and migratory capacity of breast cancer cells.
CONCLUSION: Gigantol is a novel inhibitor of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. It inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling through downregulation of phosphorylated LRP6 and cytosolic β-catenin in breast cancer cells.

Kumar R, Kotapalli V, Naz A, et al.
XPNPEP3 is a novel transcriptional target of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2018; 57(6):304-310 [PubMed] Related Publications
Canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling plays important roles in embryonic development and adult tissue regeneration while aberrant Wnt activation is the major driver of sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). Thus, it is important to characterize the complete β-catenin target transcriptome. We previously performed microarray-based mRNA profiling of rectal cancer samples stratified for Wnt status. In addition to AXIN2 and EPHB2, XPNPEP3 transcripts were significantly elevated in tumors exhibiting activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling, validated by Q-PCR. Three different cell lines supported elevated XPNPEP3 transcript levels upon activation of Wnt signaling, confirmed using promoter-luciferase assays. Ectopic expression of XPNPEP3 promoted tumorigenic properties in CRC cells. Immunohistochemistry on a CRC tissue microarray revealed significant correlation between β-catenin nuclear localization and XPNPEP3 levels. More importantly, XPNPEP3 expression was upregulated compared to normal samples in published expression data sets from several cancers including CRC. Finally, XPNPEP3 expression correlated with poor survival in many cancers. Our results therefore suggest XPNPEP3 to be a transcriptional target of Wnt/β-catenin pathway with particular significance for CRC.

Hadjadj D, Kim SJ, Denecker T, et al.
A hypothesis-driven approach identifies CDK4 and CDK6 inhibitors as candidate drugs for treatments of adrenocortical carcinomas.
Aging (Albany NY). 2017; 9(12):2695-2716 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
High proliferation rate and high mutation density are both indicators of poor prognosis in adrenocortical carcinomas. We performed a hypothesis-driven association study between clinical features in adrenocortical carcinomas and the expression levels of 136 genes involved in DNA metabolism and G1/S phase transition. In 79 samples downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas portal, high

Fatima I, El-Ayachi I, Taotao L, et al.
The natural compound Jatrophone interferes with Wnt/β-catenin signaling and inhibits proliferation and EMT in human triple-negative breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(12):e0189864 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
Metastatic breast cancer is the leading cause of worldwide cancer-related deaths among women. Triple negative breast cancers (TNBC) are highly metastatic and are devoid of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) amplification. TNBCs are unresponsive to Herceptin and/or anti-estrogen therapies and too often become highly chemoresistant when exposed to standard chemotherapy. TNBCs frequently metastasize to the lung and brain. We have previously shown that TNBCs are active for oncogenic Wnt10b/β-catenin signaling and that WNT10B ligand and its downstream target HMGA2 are predictive of poorer outcomes and are strongly associated with chemoresistant TNBC metastatic disease. In search of new chemicals to target the oncogenic WNT10B/β-CATENIN/HMGA2 signaling axis, the anti-proliferative activity of the diterpene Jatrophone (JA), derived from the plant Jatropha isabelli, was tested on TNBC cells. JA interfered with the WNT TOPFLASH reporter at the level between receptor complex and β-catenin activation. JA efficacy was determined in various subtypes of TNBC conventional cell lines or in TNBC cell lines derived from TNBC PDX tumors. The differential IC50 (DCI50) responsiveness was compared among the TNBC models based on etiological-subtype and their cellular chemoresistance status. Elevated WNT10B expression also coincided with increased resistance to JA exposure in several metastatic cell lines. JA interfered with cell cycle progression, and induced loss of expression of the canonical Wnt-direct targets genes AXIN2, HMGA2, MYC, PCNA and CCND1. Mechanistically, JA reduced steady-state, non-phosphorylated (activated) β-catenin protein levels, but not total β-catenin levels. JA also caused the loss of expression of key EMT markers and significantly impaired wound healing in scratch assays, suggesting a direct role for JA inhibiting migration of TNBC cells. These results indicate that Jatrophone could be a powerful new chemotherapeutic agent against highly chemoresistant triple negative breast cancers by targeting the oncogenic Wnt10b/β-catenin signaling pathway.

Dai Y, Liu L, Zeng T, et al.
Overexpression of MUC13, a Poor Prognostic Predictor, Promotes Cell Growth by Activating Wnt Signaling in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Am J Pathol. 2018; 188(2):378-391 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently RNA sequencing revealed high mucin 13 (MUC13) expression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues. To understand the clinicopathologic significance of MUC13 in HCC, quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry were used to detect its expression in paired tumor tissues and nontumor tissues. The oncoprotein role of MUC13 was determined by in vitro and in vivo assays. Overexpression of MUC13 was detected in 74 of 168 primary HCC cases (44%) and was significantly associated with tumor size (P = 0.027), stage (P = 0.006), encapsulation (P = 0.044), venous invasion (P = 0.024), and poor outcome (P = 0.004). Functional studies demonstrated MUC13 had strong oncogenic activity by promoting cell growth, colony formation, cell migration, and tumor formation in nude mice. The pro-oncogenic effect of MUC13 were effectively inhibited by RNA interference. MUC13 promoted cellular G

Chen Q, Cai J, Wang Q, et al.
Long Noncoding RNA
Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 24(3):684-695 [PubMed] Related Publications

Lin J, Lin W, Ye Y, et al.
Kindlin-2 promotes hepatocellular carcinoma invasion and metastasis by increasing Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 36(1):134 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Kindlin-2 is a member of the focal adhesion protein family that regulates invasion and metastasis in multiple malignancies; however, little is known about the role of Kindlin-2 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression.
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was used to investigate Kindlin-2 expression in 177 pairs of human HCC and adjacent liver tissue samples. The role of Kindlin-2 in the in vitro invasion and migration of HCC cell lines was evaluated in MHCC97H, LM3 and SMMC7721 cells. Microarray expression analysis was applied to explore the molecular mechanism through which Kindlin-2 promoted HCC progression. Quantitative real-time PCR and Western blotting were performed to verify the microarray results.
RESULTS: High Kindlin-2 expression was found to significantly correlate with aggressive HCC clinicopathological features including tumor encapsulation, microvascular invasion, extrahepatic metastasis and poor prognosis. In vitro, Kindlin-2 knockout or knockdown inhibited HCC cell adhesion, migration and invasion, while ectopic Kindlin-2 expression promoted these processes. Importantly, Kindlin-2 activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling and increased β-catenin expression, especially levels of non-phosphorylated β-catenin, as well as two Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway targets, Axin2 and MMP7. Kindlin-2 also induced a change in the expression profile of HCC cells, suggesting the cells underwent epithelial-mesenchymal transition. For example, the expression of the epithelial marker E-cadherin was downregulated, while the mesenchymal markers Vimentin, N-cadherin and Snail were upregulated.
CONCLUSION: Kindlin-2 promotes HCC invasion, metastasis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition through Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

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