Research IndicatorsGraph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 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).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
Search the Epigenomics database and view relevant gene tracks of samples.
Latest Publications: FZD7 (cancer-related)
A growing amount of evidence indicates that miRNAs are important regulators of multiple cellular processes and, when expressed aberrantly in different types of cancer such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), play significant roles in tumorigenesis and progression. Aberrant expression of miR-199a-5p (also called miR-199a) was found to contribute to carcinogenesis in different types of cancer, including HCC. However, the precise molecular mechanism is not yet fully understood. The present study showed that miR-199a is frequently down-regulated in HCC tissues and cells. Importantly, lower expression of miR-199a was significantly correlated with the malignant potential and poor prognosis of HCC, and restoration of miR-199a in HCC cells led to inhibition of the cell proliferation and cell cycle in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, Frizzled type 7 receptor (FZD7), the most important Wnt receptor involved in cancer development and progression, was identified as a functional target of miR-199a. In addition, these findings were further strengthened by results showing that expression of FZD7 was inversely correlated with miR-199a in both HCC tissues and cells and that over-expression of miR-199a could significantly down-regulate the expression of genes downstream of FZD7, including β-catenin, Jun, Cyclin D1 and Myc. In conclusion, these findings not only help us to better elucidate the molecular mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis from a fresh perspective but also provide a new theoretical basis to further investigate miR-199a as a potential biomarker and a promising approach for HCC treatment.
Chakrabarti R, Wei Y, Hwang J, et al.ΔNp63 promotes stem cell activity in mammary gland development and basal-like breast cancer by enhancing Fzd7 expression and Wnt signalling.
Nat Cell Biol. 2014; 16(10):1004-15, 1-13 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Emerging evidence suggests that cancer is populated and maintained by tumour-initiating cells (TICs) with stem-like properties similar to those of adult tissue stem cells. Despite recent advances, the molecular regulatory mechanisms that may be shared between normal and malignant stem cells remain poorly understood. Here we show that the ΔNp63 isoform of the Trp63 transcription factor promotes normal mammary stem cell (MaSC) activity by increasing the expression of the Wnt receptor Fzd7, thereby enhancing Wnt signalling. Importantly, Fzd7-dependent enhancement of Wnt signalling by ΔNp63 also governs tumour-initiating activity of the basal subtype of breast cancer. These findings establish ΔNp63 as a key regulator of stem cells in both normal and malignant mammary tissues and provide direct evidence that breast cancer TICs and normal MaSCs share common regulatory mechanisms.
Ovarian cancer (OC) can be classified into five biologically distinct molecular subgroups: epithelial-A (Epi-A), Epi-B, mesenchymal (Mes), Stem-A and Stem-B. Among them, Stem-A expresses genes relating to stemness and is correlated with poor clinical prognosis. In this study, we show that frizzled family receptor 7 (FZD7), a receptor for Wnt signalling, is overexpressed in the Stem-A subgroup. To elucidate the functional roles of FZD7, we used an RNA interference gene knockdown approach in three Stem-A cell lines: CH1, PA1 and OV-17R. Si-FZD7 OC cells showed reduced cell proliferation with an increase in the G0/G1 sub-population, with no effect on apoptosis. The cells also displayed a distinctive morphologic change by colony compaction to become more epithelial-like and polarised with smaller internuclear distances and increased z-axis height. Immunofluorescence (IF) staining patterns of pan-cadherin and β-catenin suggested an increase in cadherin-based cell-cell adhesion in si-FZD7 cells. We also observed a significant rearrangement in the actin cytoskeleton and an increase in tensile contractility in si-FZD7 OC cells, as evident by the loss of stress fibres and the redistribution of phospho-myosin light chain (pMLC) from the sites of cell-cell contacts to the periphery of cell colonies. Furthermore, there was reciprocal regulation of RhoA (Ras homolog family member A) and Rac1 (Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rho family, small GTP-binding protein Rac1)) activities upon FZD7 knockdown, with a significant reduction in RhoA activity and a concomitant upregulation in Rac1 activity. These changes in pMLC and RhoA, as well as the increased TopFlash reporter activities in si-FZD7 cells, suggested involvement of the non-canonical Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway. Selected PCP pathway genes (cadherin EGF LAG seven-pass G-type receptor 3 (CELSR3), prickle homolog 4 (Drosophila) (PRICKLE4), dishevelled-associated activator of morphogenesis 1 (DAAM1), profilin 2 (PFN2), protocadherin 9 (PCDH9), protocadherin α1 (PCDHA1), protocadherin β17 pseudogene (PCDHB17), protocadherin β3 (PCDHB3), sprouty homolog 1 (SPRY1) and protein tyrosine kinase 7 (PTK7)) were found to be more highly expressed in Stem-A than non Stem-A subgroup of OC. Taken together, our results suggest that FZD7 might drive aggressiveness in Stem-A OC by regulating cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, maintenance of the Mes phenotype and cell migration via casein kinase 1ɛ-mediated non-canonical Wnt/PCP pathway.
Sun Q, Wang R, Luo J, et al.Notch1 promotes hepatitis B virus X protein-induced hepatocarcinogenesis via Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(4):1638-48 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) is implicated in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) via a network of signaling pathways. Notch pathway is a major member of the network. Notch signaling may generate opposing effect in different steps of carcinogenesis, depending on the tumor cell type and the status of other signaling pathways, such as Wnt signaling pathway. Our previous studies have shown that activated Notch1 signaling is required for HBx to promote proliferation and survival of human hepatic cell line L02. However, the exact mechanisms remain vague. Here, we used L02/HBx cell lines as a cell model to study the relationship between Notch and Wnt/β-catenin pathways in promoting proliferation. We observed that activated Notch1 and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways and L02 cell malignant transformation were induced by HBx. Inhibition of the Notch1 pathway decreased the activation of Wnt/β-catenin pathway and cell proliferation, while inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway impaired cell proliferation, but did not significantly affect Notch1 signaling pathway in L02/HBx cells. Furthermore, inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway overcame the inhibition effect of knockdown Notch1 on proliferation and survival in L02/HBx cells. Additionally, the activity of Wnt/β-catenin signaling appears to be consistent with Fzd10 expression. Therefore, we demonstrate that Wnt signaling is downstream of the Notch pathway in regulating proliferation of L02/HBx cells, and which may be related to Fzd10 instead of Fzd7. These data suggest a new model of HBx-related HCC via cooperation between Wnt and Notch pathways.
Irinotecan is a topoisomerase I inhibitor approved worldwide as a first- and second-line chemotherapy for advanced or recurrent colorectal cancer (CRC). Although irinotecan showed significant survival advantage for patients, a relatively low response rate and severe adverse effects demonstrated the urgent need for biomarkers searching to select the suitable patients who can benefit from irinotecan-based therapy and avoid the adverse effects. In present work, the irinotecan response (IC50 doses) of 20 CRC cell lines were correlated with the basal expression profiles investigated by RNA-seq to figure out genes responsible for irinotecan sensitivity/resistance. Genes negatively or positively correlated to irinotecan sensitivity were given after biocomputation, and 7 (CDC20, CTNNAL1, FZD7, CITED2, ABR, ARHGEF7, and RNMT) of them were validated in two CRC cell lines by quantitative real-time PCR, several of these 7 genes has been proposed to promote cancer cells proliferation and hence may confer CRC cells resistance to irinotecan. Our work might provide potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for irinotecan sensitivity in CRC cells.
Mutations of genes in tumor cells of Triple Negative subset of Breast Cancer (TNBC) deregulate pathways of signal transduction. The loss of tumor suppressor gene PTEN is the most common first event associated with basal-like subtype (Martins, De, Almendro, Gonen, and Park, 2012). Here we report for the first time that the functional upregulation of secreted-MMP7, a transcriptional target of Wnt-β-catenin signature pathway in TNBC is associated to the loss of PTEN. We identified differential expression of mRNAs in several key-components genes, and transcriptional target genes of the Wnt-β-catenin pathway (WP), including beta-catenin, FZD7, DVL1, MMP7, c-MYC, BIRC5, CD44, PPARD, c-MET, and NOTCH1 in FFPE tumors samples from TNBC patients of two independent cohorts. A similar differential upregulation of mRNA/protein for beta-catenin, the functional readout of WP, and for MMP7, a transcriptional target gene of beta-catenin was observed in TNBC cell line models. Genetic or pharmacological attenuation of beta-catenin by SiRNA or WP modulators (XAV939 and sulindac sulfide) and pharmacological mimicking of PTEN following LY294002 treatment downregulated MMP7 levels as well as enzymatic function of the secreted MMP7 in MMP7 positive PTEN-null TNBC cells. Patient data revealed that MMP7 mRNA was high in only a subpopulation of TNBC, and this subpopulation was characterized by a concurrent low expression of PTEN mRNA. In cell lines, a high expression of casein-zymograph-positive MMP7 was distinguished by an absence of functional PTEN. A similar inverse relationship between MMP7 and PTEN mRNA levels was observed in the PAM50 data set (a correlation coefficient of -0.54). The PAM50 subtype and outcome data revealed that the high MMP7 group had low pCR (25%) and High Rd (74%) in clinical stage T3 pathologic response in contrast to the high pCR (40%) and low residual disease (RD) (60%) of the low MMP7 group.
Advances in phosphoproteomics have made it possible to monitor changes in protein phosphorylation that occur at different steps in signal transduction and have aided the identification of new pathway components. In the present study, we applied this technology to advance our understanding of the responses of melanoma cells to signaling initiated by the secreted ligand WNT3A. We started by comparing the phosphopeptide patterns of cells treated with WNT3A for different periods of time. Next, we integrated these data sets with the results from a siRNA screen that targeted protein kinases. This integration of siRNA screening and proteomics enabled us to identify four kinases that exhibit altered phosphorylation in response to WNT3A and that regulate a luciferase reporter of β-catenin-responsive transcription (β-catenin-activated reporter). We focused on one of these kinases, an atypical PKC kinase, protein kinase N1 (PKN1). Reducing the levels of PKN1 with siRNAs significantly enhances activation of β-catenin-activated reporter and increases apoptosis in melanoma cell lines. Using affinity purification followed by mass spectrometry, we then found that PKN1 is present in a protein complex with a WNT3A receptor, Frizzled 7, as well as with proteins that co-purify with Frizzled 7. These data establish that the protein kinase PKN1 inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling and sensitizes melanoma cells to cell death stimulated by WNT3A.
Chen Z, Ma T, Huang C, et al.MiR-27a modulates the MDR1/P-glycoprotein expression by inhibiting FZD7/β-catenin pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Cell Signal. 2013; 25(12):2693-701 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Chemotherapy has been widely used to treat cancer, however, the appearance of multiple drug resistance (MDR) in cancer patients is regarded as a major clinical obstacle to successful chemotherapy. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are evolutionary conserved small RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level and have been shown to regulate cell differentiation, development, proliferation and apoptosis. Nevertheless, the involvement of miRNAs and their roles in the development of MDR in liver cancer are not fully understood. Our study found that the expression of miR-27a was down-regulated in the multidrug-resistant hepatocellular carcinoma cell line BEL-7402/5-fluorouracil (BEL/5-FU) compared with its parental BEL-7402 cell line, while the MDR1/P-glycoprotein expression was elevated. Overexpression of miR-27a by transfecting with miR-27a mimics in the BEL/5-FU cells could reduce the MDR1/P-glycoprotein and β-catenin expressions, enhance the sensitivity of these cells to 5-fluorouracil and 5-fluorouracil-induced apoptosis. Moreover, up-regulation of miR-27a did not decrease the FZD7 mRNA level, but significantly reduce its protein expression in BEL/5-FU cells. It was also confirmed that reduction of FZD7 by RNA interference induced inhibitory effects on the expression of MDR1/P-glycoprotein and β-catenin, similar to miR-27a. Taken together, our findings suggest that miR-27a could function as a novel regulator to reverse MDR in hepatocellular carcinoma cells by inhibiting the FZD7/β-catenin pathway.
Ur-Rehman S, Gao Q, Mitsopoulos C, Zvelebil MROCK: a resource for integrative breast cancer data analysis.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 139(3):907-21 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Given the steady increase in breast cancer rates in both the developed and developing world, there has been a concerted research effort undertaken worldwide to understand the molecular mechanisms underpinning the disease. The data generated from numerous clinical trials and experimental studies shed light on different aspects of the disease. We present a new version of the ROCK database (rock.icr.ac.uk), which integrates such diverse data types allowing unique analyses of published breast cancer experimental data. We have added several new data types and analysis modules to ROCK, which allow the user to interactively query and research the huge amounts of available experimental data and perform complex correlations across studies and data types such as gene expression, genomic copy number aberrations, micro RNA expression, RNA interference, survival analysis, clinical annotation and signalling protein networks. We present the recent and major functional updates and enhancements to the ROCK resource, including new analysis modules and microRNA and NGS data integration, and illustrate how ROCK can be used to confirm known experimental results as well as generate novel leads and new experimental hypotheses using the Wnt signalling cell surface receptor FZD7 and the Myc oncogene. ROCK provides a unique breast cancer analysis platform of integrated experimental datasets at the genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic level. This paper presents how ROCK has transitioned from being simply a database to an interactive resource useful to the broader breast cancer research community in our effort to facilitate research into the underlying molecular mechanisms of breast cancer.
Kaucká M, Plevová K, Pavlová S, et al.The planar cell polarity pathway drives pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia by the regulation of B-lymphocyte migration.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(5):1491-501 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway is a conserved pathway that regulates cell migration and polarity in various contexts. Here we show that key PCP pathway components such as Vangl2, Celsr1, Prickle1, FZD3, FZD7, Dvl2, Dvl3, and casein kinase 1 (CK1)-ε are upregulated in B lymphocytes of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Elevated levels of PCP proteins accumulate in advanced stages of the disease. Here, we show that PCP pathway is required for the migration and transendothelial invasion of CLL cells and that patients with high expression of PCP genes, FZD3, FZD7, and PRICKLE1, have a less favorable clinical prognosis. Our findings establish that the PCP pathway acts as an important regulator of CLL cell migration and invasion. PCP proteins represent an important class of molecules regulating pathogenic interaction of CLL cells with their microenvironment.
Vasiljevic A, Champier J, Figarella-Branger D, et al.Molecular characterization of central neurocytomas: potential markers for tumor typing and progression.
Neuropathology. 2013; 33(2):149-61 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Central neurocytomas (CNs) are rare intraventricular tumors presenting a favorable prognosis after surgery. Their transcriptomic profile is poorly characterized. We performed a microarray transcriptomic study to search for molecular markers that might improve diagnostic accuracy. Microarray analysis was performed on five CNs (3 primary and 2 recurrent CNs) using CodeLink human whole genome bioarrays, and the gene expression in CNs was compared with that in four pineal parenchymal tumors, consisting of two pineocytomas (PCs) and two pineoblastomas (PBs), other periventricular tumors which may present neuronal differentiation. We identified genes that were highly expressed in CNs compared to normal brain and might be candidates for the molecular typing of CNs. Several genes are part of the Wnt/β-catenin and sonic hedgehog signaling pathways or mainly linked to calcium function or maintenance of neural progenitors. Moreover, several genes are overexpressed in both CNs and PCs and/or PBs such as INSM1 and NEUROD4, involved in neural or neuroendocrine differentiation. The overexpression of eight candidate genes in CNs (CHRDL2, IGF2, KiSS-1, CAL2, NTS, NHLH1, RGS16 and SCGN) was confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. Of the genes overexpressed in the recurrent CNs compared to the primary CNs, AQP5, KiSS-1, FZD7, AURKB, UBE2C and PTTG1 are genes which may be involved in tumor progression. Our study shows the potential involvement of various genes in the pathogenesis of CNs. These genes could be potential candidate markers for improving the characterization of CNs and some could be involved in CN tumorigenesis.
Wnt proteins are secreted glycoproteins that bind to the N-terminal extra-cellular cysteine-rich domain of the Frizzled (Fzd) receptor family. The Fzd receptors can respond to Wnt proteins in the presence of Wnt co-receptors to activate the canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways. Recent studies indicated that, among the Fzd family, Fzd7 is the Wnt receptor most commonly upregulated in a variety of cancers including colorectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma and triple negative breast cancer. Fzd7 plays an important role in stem cell biology and cancer development and progression. In addition, it has been demonstrated that siRNA knockdown of Fzd7, the anti-Fzd7 antibody or the extracellular peptide of Fzd7 (soluble Fzd7 peptide) displayed anti-cancer activity in vitro and in vivo mainly due to the inhibition of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of Fzd7 by small interfering peptides or a small molecule inhibitor suppressed β-catenin-dependent tumor cell growth. Therefore, targeted inhibition of Fzd7 represents a rational and promising new approach for cancer therapy.
Nishioka M, Ueno K, Hazama S, et al.Possible involvement of Wnt11 in colorectal cancer progression.
Mol Carcinog. 2013; 52(3):207-17 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Our previous report revealed that the expression of Frizzled-7 (FZD7) in colorectal cancer (CRC) and its possible role in CRC progression. In this study we measured the expression levels of candidate FZD7 ligands, Wnt3 and Wnt11 in colon cancer cell lines (n = 7) and primary CRC tissues (n = 133) by quantitative RT-PCR. We also examined the functional effects of Wnt11 with the use of Wnt11 transfectants of colon cancer HCT-116 cells. Wnt11 transfectants showed the increased proliferation and migration/invasion activities compared to mock cells. Western blot analysis of transfectants revealed that phosphorylation of JNK and c-jun was increased after Wnt11 transfection. Wnt11 mRNA expression was significantly higher in the stage I, II, III, or IV tumor tissues than in non-tumor tissues (overall P < 0.003), while there was no significant difference in Wnt3 mRNA expression between tumor and non-tumor tissues. In addition, Wnt11 mRNA expression was significantly higher in patients with recurrence or death after surgery than in those with no recurrence (disease free) after surgery (P = 0.018). We also compared the expression levels of Wnt11 mRNA with those of FZD7 mRNA in the same CRC samples. Wnt11 mRNA expression was significantly higher in patients with higher FZD7 mRNA levels than in those with lower FZD7 mRNA levels (P = 0.0005). The expression levels of Wnt11 mRNA were correlated with those of FZD7 mRNA (P < 0.0001). These data suggest that Wnt11 may play an important role in CRC progression.
Zhang H, Hao Y, Yang J, et al.Genome-wide functional screening of miR-23b as a pleiotropic modulator suppressing cancer metastasis.
Nat Commun. 2011; 2:554 [PubMed
] Related Publications
miRNA globally deregulates human carcinoma. A critical open question is how many miRNAs functionally participate in cancer development, particularly in metastasis. We systematically evaluate the capability of all known human miRNAs to regulate certain metastasis-relevant cell behaviours. To perform the high-throughput screen of miRNAs, which regulate cell migration, we developed a novel self-assembled cell microarray. Here we show that over 20% of miRNAs have migratory regulation activity in diverse cell types, indicating a general involvement of miRNAs in migratory regulation. MiR-23b, which is downregulated in human colon cancer samples, potently mediates the multiple steps of metastasis, including tumour growth, invasion and angiogenesis in vivo. It regulates a cohort of prometastatic targets, including FZD7 or MAP3k1. These findings provide new insight into the physiological and potential therapeutic importance of miRNAs as a new class of functional modulators.
Salsano E, Paterra R, Figus M, et al.Expression profile of frizzled receptors in human medulloblastomas.
J Neurooncol. 2012; 106(2):271-80 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Secreted WNT proteins signal through ten receptors of the frizzled (FZD) family. Because of the relevance of the WNT/β-catenin (CTNNB1) signaling pathway in medulloblastomas (MBs), we investigated the expression of all ten members of the FZD gene family (FZD1-10) in 17 human MBs, four MB cell lines and in normal human cerebellum, using real-time PCR. We found that FZD2 transcript was over-expressed in all MBs and MB cell lines. Western blot analysis confirmed the expression of FZD2 at the protein level. Moreover, the levels of FZD2 transcript were found to correlate with those of ASPM transcript, a marker of mitosis essential for mitotic spindle function. Accordingly, ASPM mRNA was expressed at a very low level in the adult, post-mitotic, human cerebellum, at higher levels in fetal cerebellum and at highest levels in MB tissues and cell lines. Unlike FZD2, the other FZDs were overexpressed (e.g., FZD1, FZD3 and FZD8) or underexpressed (e.g., FZD7, FZD9 and FZD10) in a case-restricted manner. Interestingly, we did not find any nuclear immuno-reactivity to CTNNB1 in four MBs over-expressing both FZD2 and other FZD receptors, confirming the lack of nuclear CTNNB1 staining in the presence of increased FZD expression, as in other tumor types. Overall, our results indicate that altered expression of FZD2 might be associated with a proliferative status, thus playing a role in the biology of human MBs, and possibly of cerebellar progenitors from which these malignancies arise.
Yang L, Wu X, Wang Y, et al.FZD7 has a critical role in cell proliferation in triple negative breast cancer.
Oncogene. 2011; 30(43):4437-46 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Breast cancer is genetically and clinically heterogeneous. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast cancer that is usually associated with poor outcome and lack of benefit from targeted therapy. We used microarray analysis to perform a pathway analysis of TNBC compared with non-triple negative breast cancer (non-TNBC). Overexpression of several Wnt pathway genes, such as frizzled homolog 7 (FZD7), low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 and transcription factor 7 (TCF7) was observed in TNBC, and we directed our focus to the Wnt pathway receptor, FZD7. To validate the function of FZD7, FZD7shRNA was used to knock down FZD7 expression. Notably, reduced cell proliferation and suppressed invasiveness and colony formation were observed in TNBC MDA-MB-231 and BT-20 cells. Study of the possible mechanism indicated that these effects occurred through silencing of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway, as evidenced by loss of nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and decreased transcriptional activity of TCF7. In vivo studies revealed that FZD7shRNA significantly suppressed tumor formation, through reduced cell proliferation, in mice bearing xenografts without FZD7 expression. Our findings suggest that FZD7-involved canonical Wnt signaling pathway is essential for tumorigenesis of TNBC, and thus, FZD7 shows promise as a biomarker and a potential therapeutic target for TNBC.
Pode-Shakked N, Harari-Steinberg O, Haberman-Ziv Y, et al.Resistance or sensitivity of Wilms' tumor to anti-FZD7 antibody highlights the Wnt pathway as a possible therapeutic target.
Oncogene. 2011; 30(14):1664-80 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Wilms' tumor (WT), the most frequent renal solid tumor in children, has been linked to aberrant Wnt signaling. Herein, we demonstrate that different WTs can be grouped according to either sensitivity or resistance to an antibody (Ab) specific to frizzled7 (FZD7), a Wnt receptor. In the FZD7-sensitive WT phenotype, the Ab induced cell death of the FZD7(+) fraction, which in turn depleted primary WT cultures of their clonogenic and sphere-forming cells and decreased in vivo proliferation and survival on xenografting to the chick chorio-allantoic-membrane. In contrast, FZD7-resistant WT in which no cell death was induced showed a different intra-cellular route of the Ab-FZD7 complex compared with sensitive tumors and accumulation of β-catenin. This coincided with a low sFRP1 and DKK1 (Wnt inhibitors) expression pattern, restored epigenetically with de-methylating agents, and lack of β-catenin or WTX mutations. The addition of exogenous DKK1 and sFRP1 to the tumor cells enabled the sensitization of FZD7-resistant WT to the FZD7 Ab. Finally, although extremely difficult to achieve because of dynamic cellular localization of FZD7, sorting of FZD7(+) cells from resistant WT, showed them to be highly clonogenic/proliferative, overexpressing WT 'stemness' genes, emphasizing the importance of targeting this fraction. FZD7 Ab therapy alone or in combination with Wnt pathway antagonists may have a significant role in the treatment of WT via targeting of a tumor progenitor population.
The side population (SP) of tumor cell lines shares characteristics with tumor stem cells. The objective of this study was to phenotypically and genotypically characterize the SP of gastric cancer cell lines. SP cells were obtained from AGS and MKN45 gastric cancer cells using Hoechst 33342 staining and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. The cells were subsequently studied morphologically at cytology and immunocytochemistry, on the transcriptional level via gene array, and in cell culture using recultivation assays. Genes differentially expressed in SP cells were evaluated at immunohistochemistry in tissue samples from 486 patients with gastric cancer. The SP cells were smaller and rounder then non-SP cells. SP cells self-renewed in recultivation experiments and differentiated into SP and non-SP cells. Recultivated SP and non-SP cells exhibited distinct phenotypes in culture insofar as cell shape and colony formation. SP cells demonstrated increased levels of the stem cell markers CD133 and Musashi-1. Transcriptional analyses demonstrated that SP cells express genes that encode for stem cell properties including FZD7, HEY1, SMO, and ADAM17. It was observed that ADAM17 and FZD7 are differentially expressed in human gastric cancer, and FZD7-positive cancers are associated with significantly shorter patient survival. In conclusion, human gastric cancer cell lines enclose a phenotypically and genotypically distinct cell population with tumor stem cell features. Phenotypic characteristics of this distinct cell population are also present in gastric cancer tissue, and correlate with patient survival.
Mochmann LH, Bock J, Ortiz-Tánchez J, et al.Genome-wide screen reveals WNT11, a non-canonical WNT gene, as a direct target of ETS transcription factor ERG.
Oncogene. 2011; 30(17):2044-56 [PubMed
] Related Publications
E26 transforming sequence-related gene (ERG) is a transcription factor involved in normal hematopoiesis and is dysregulated in leukemia. ERG mRNA overexpression was associated with poor prognosis in a subset of patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Herein, a genome-wide screen of ERG target genes was conducted by chromatin immunoprecipitation-on-chip (ChIP-chip) in Jurkat cells. In this screen, 342 significant annotated genes were derived from this global approach. Notably, ERG-enriched targets included WNT signaling genes: WNT11, WNT2, WNT9A, CCND1 and FZD7. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) of normal and primary leukemia bone marrow material also confirmed WNT11 as a target of ERG in six of seven patient samples. A larger sampling of patient diagnostic material revealed that ERG and WNT11 mRNA were co-expressed in 80% of AML (n=30) and 40% in T-ALL (n=30) bone marrow samples. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of ERG confirmed downregulation of WNT11 transcripts. Conversely, in a tet-on ERG-inducible assay, WNT11 transcripts were co-stimulated. A WNT pathway agonist, 6-bromoindirubin-3-oxime (BIO), was used to determine the effect of cell growth on the ERG-inducible cells. The addition of BIO resulted in an ERG-dependent proliferative growth advantage over ERG-uninduced cells. Finally, ERG induction prompted morphological transformation whereby round unpolarized K562 cells developed elongated protrusions and became polarized. This morphological transformation could effectively be inhibited with BIO and with siRNA knockdown of WNT11. In conclusion, ERG transcriptional networks in leukemia converge on WNT signaling targets. Specifically, WNT11 emerged as a direct target of ERG. Potent ERG induction promoted morphological transformation through WNT11 signals. The findings in this study unravel new ERG-directed molecular signals that may contribute to the resistance of current therapies in acute leukemia patients with poor prognosis characterized by high ERG mRNA expression.
Causative genetic variants have to date been identified for only a small proportion of familial colorectal cancer (CRC). While conditions such as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Lynch syndrome have well defined genetic causes, the search for variants underlying the remainder of familial CRC is plagued by genetic heterogeneity. The recent identification of families with a heritable predisposition to malignancies arising through the serrated pathway (familial serrated neoplasia or Jass syndrome) provides an opportunity to study a subset of familial CRC in which heterogeneity may be greatly reduced. A genome-wide linkage screen was performed on a large family displaying a dominantly-inherited predisposition to serrated neoplasia genotyped using the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mapping 10 K SNP Array. Parametric and nonparametric analyses were performed and resulting regions of interest, as well as previously reported CRC susceptibility loci at 3q22, 7q31 and 9q22, were followed up by finemapping in 10 serrated neoplasia families. Genome-wide linkage analysis revealed regions of interest at 2p25.2-p25.1, 2q24.3-q37.1 and 8p21.2-q12.1. Finemapping linkage and haplotype analyses identified 2q32.2-q33.3 as the region most likely to harbour linkage, with heterogeneity logarithm of the odds (HLOD) 2.09 and nonparametric linkage (NPL) score 2.36 (P = 0.004). Five primary candidate genes (CFLAR, CASP10, CASP8, FZD7 and BMPR2) were sequenced and no segregating variants identified. There was no evidence of linkage to previously reported loci on chromosomes 3, 7 and 9.
Di Masi A, Viganotti M, Antoccia A, et al.Characterization of HuH6, Hep3B, HepG2 and HLE liver cancer cell lines by WNT/β - catenin pathway, microRNA expression and protein expression profile.
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2010; 56 Suppl:OL1299-317 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Somatic mutations in the genes members of WNT/β-catenin pathway, especially in CTNNB1 codifying for β-catenin, have been found to play an important role in hepatocarcinogenesis. The purpose of this work is to characterize alterations of the WNT/β-catenin signalling pathway, and to study the expression pattern of a panel of microRNAs and proteins potentially involved in the pathogenesis of liver cancer. In this respect, the molecular characterization of the most used liver cancer cell lines HuH6, Hep3B, HepG2, and HLE, could represent a useful tool to identify novel molecular markers for hepatic tumour. A significant modulation of FZD7, NLK, RHOU, SOX17, TCF7L2, TLE1, SLC9A3R1 and WNT10A transcripts was observed in all the four liver cancer cell lines. The analysis of selected microRNAs showed that miR-122a, miR-125a and miR-150 could be suitable candidates to discriminate tumoural versus normal human primary hepatocytes. Finally, Grb-2 protein expression resulted to be increased more than two-fold in liver cancer cell lines in comparison to normal human primary hepatocytes. These advances in the knowledge of molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of liver cancer may provide new potential biomarkers and molecular targets for the diagnosis and therapy.
Pode-Shakked N, Metsuyanim S, Rom-Gross E, et al.Developmental tumourigenesis: NCAM as a putative marker for the malignant renal stem/progenitor cell population.
J Cell Mol Med. 2009; 13(8B):1792-808 [PubMed
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During development, renal stem cells reside in the nephrogenic blastema. Wilms' tumour (WT), a common childhood malignancy, is suggested to arise from the nephrogenic blastema that undergoes partial differentiation and as such is an attractive model to study renal stem cells leading to cancer initiation and maintenance. Previously we have made use of blastema-enriched WT stem-like xenografts propagated in vivo to define a 'WT-stem' signature set, which includes cell surface markers convenient for cell isolation (frizzled homolog 2 [Drosophila] - FZD2, FZD7, G-protein coupled receptor 39, activin receptor type 2B, neural cell adhesion molecule - NCAM). We show by fluorescenceactivated cell sorting analysis of sphere-forming heterogeneous primary WT cultures that most of these markers and other stem cell surface antigens (haematopoietic, CD133, CD34, c-Kit; mesenchymal, CD105, CD90, CD44; cancer, CD133, MDR1; hESC, CD24 and putative renal, cadherin 11), are expressed in WT cell sub-populations in varying levels. Of all markers, NCAM, CD133 and FZD7 were constantly detected in low-to-moderate portions likely to contain the stem cell fraction. Sorting according to FZD7 resulted in extensive cell death, while sorted NCAM and CD133 cell fractions were subjected to clonogenicity assays and quantitative RT-PCR analysis, exclusively demonstrating the NCAM fraction as highly clonogenic, overexpressing the WT 'stemness' genes and topoisomerase2A (TOP2A), a bad prognostic marker for WT. Moreover, treatment of WT cells with the topoisomerase inhibitors, Etoposide and Irinotecan resulted in down-regulation of TOP2A along with NCAM and WT1. Thus, we suggest NCAM as a marker for the WT progenitor cell population. These findings provide novel insights into the cellular hierarchy of WT, having possible implications for future therapeutic options.
Sertel S, Eichhorn T, Sieber S, et al.Factors determining sensitivity or resistance of tumor cell lines towards artesunate.
Chem Biol Interact. 2010; 185(1):42-52 [PubMed
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Clinical oncology is still challenged by the development of drug resistance of tumors that result in poor prognosis for patients. There is an urgent necessity to understand the molecular mechanisms of resistance and to develop novel therapy strategies. Artesunate (ART) is an anti-malarial drug, which also exerts profound cytotoxic activity towards cancer cells. We first applied a gene-hunting approach using cluster and COMPARE analyses of microarray-based transcriptome-wide mRNA expression profiles. Among the genes identified by this approach were genes from diverse functional groups such as structural constituents of ribosomes (RPL6, RPL7, RPS12, RPS15A), kinases (CABC1, CCT2, RPL41), transcriptional and translational regulators (SFRS2, TUFM, ZBTB4), signal transducers (FLNA), control of cell growth and proliferation (RPS6), angiogenesis promoting factors (ITGB1), and others (SLC25A19, NCKAP1, BST1, DBH, FZD7, NACA, MTHFD2). Furthermore, we applied a candidate gene approach and tested the role of resistance mechanisms towards established anti-cancer drugs for ART resistance. By using transfected or knockout cell models we found that the tumor suppressor p16(INK4A) and the anti-oxidant protein, catalase, conferred resistance towards ART, while the oncogene HPV-E6 conferred sensitivity towards ART. The tumor suppressor p53 and its downstream protein, p21, as well as the anti-oxidant manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase did not affect cellular response to ART. In conclusion, our pharmacogenomic approach revealed that response of tumor cells towards ART is multi-factorial and is determined by gene expression associated with either ART sensitivity or resistance. At least some of the functional groups of genes (e.g. angiogenesis promoting factors, cell growth and proliferation-associated genes signal transducers and kinases) are also implicated in clinical responsiveness of tumors towards chemotherapy. It merits further investigation, whether ART is responsive in clinically refractory tumors and whether the genes identified in the present study also determine clinical responsiveness towards ART.
BACKGROUND: Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are classified as seminonas or non-seminomas of which a major subset is embryonal carcinoma (EC) that can differentiate into diverse tissues. The pluripotent nature of human ECs resembles that of embryonic stem (ES) cells. Many Wnt signalling species are regulated during differentiation of TGCT-derived EC cells. This study comprehensively investigated expression profiles of Wnt signalling components regulated during induced differentiation of EC cells and explored the role of key components in maintaining pluripotency.
METHODS: Human embryonal carcinoma cells were stably infected with a lentiviral construct carrying a canonical Wnt responsive reporter to assess Wnt signalling activity following induced differentiation. Cells were differentiated with all-trans retinoic acid (RA) or by targeted repression of pluripotency factor, POU5F1. A Wnt pathway real-time-PCR array was used to evaluate changes in gene expression as cells differentiated. Highlighted Wnt pathway genes were then specifically repressed using siRNA or stable shRNA and transfected EC cells were assessed for proliferation, differentiation status and levels of core pluripotency genes.
RESULTS: Canonical Wnt signalling activity was low basally in undifferentiated EC cells, but substantially increased with induced differentiation. Wnt pathway gene expression levels were compared during induced differentiation and many components were altered including ligands (WNT2B), receptors (FZD5, FZD6, FZD10), secreted inhibitors (SFRP4, SFRP1), and other effectors of Wnt signalling (FRAT2, DAAM1, PITX2, Porcupine). Independent repression of FZD5, FZD7 and WNT5A using transient as well as stable methods of RNA interference (RNAi) inhibited cell growth of pluripotent NT2/D1 human EC cells, but did not appreciably induce differentiation or repress key pluripotency genes. Silencing of FZD7 gave the greatest growth suppression in all human EC cell lines tested including NT2/D1, NT2/D1-R1, Tera-1 and 833K cells.
CONCLUSION: During induced differentiation of human EC cells, the Wnt signalling pathway is reprogrammed and canonical Wnt signalling induced. Specific species regulating non-canonical Wnt signalling conferred growth inhibition when targeted for repression in these EC cells. Notably, FZD7 repression significantly inhibited growth of human EC cells and is a promising therapeutic target for TGCTs.
BACKGROUND: The canonical Wnt signalling pathway is activated in most sporadic colorectal cancers (CRCs). We previously reported that FZD7 functions as a receptor for the canonical Wnt signalling pathway in colon cancer cells.
METHODS AND RESULTS: In this study, we examined the function of FZD7 in survival, invasion and metastatic capabilities of colon cancer cells. FZD7_siRNA transfection decreased cell viability of HT-29 and HCT-116 colon cancer cells. Expression of c-Jun, phosphorylation of JNK and c-Jun, and activation of RhoA were suppressed after FZD7_siRNA transfection into HCT-116 cells. In vitro invasion activity and Wnt target gene expression were also reduced in HCT-116 cells transfected with FZD7_siRNA. Liver metastasis of stable FZD7_siRNA HCT-116 cell transfectants in scid mice was decreased to 40-50% compared to controls. The mRNA levels of FZD7 in 135 primary CRC tissues were examined by real-time PCR. FZD7 mRNA levels were significantly higher in stage II, III or IV tumours than in non-tumour tissues (P<0.005), and overall survival was shorter in those patients with higher FZD7 expression (P<0.001).
CONCLUSION: These data suggest that FZD7 may be involved in enhancement of survival, invasion and metastatic capabilities of colon cancer cells through non-canonical Wnt signalling pathways as well as the canonical pathway.
Vincan E, Flanagan DJ, Pouliot N, et al.Variable FZD7 expression in colorectal cancers indicates regulation by the tumour microenvironment.
Dev Dyn. 2010; 239(1):311-7 [PubMed
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Recent evidence shows that a sub-population of Wnt/beta-catenin target genes is specifically induced in different tissue contexts. FZD7 is a putative Wnt/beta-catenin target gene and although it is highly expressed in well-differentiated colorectal cancer tumour cells, its expression is decreased in de-differentiated tumour cells at the invasive front despite elevated Wnt/beta-catenin signalling in this area. This variable expression of FZD7 implicates additional regulation by the microenvironment; however, this has not been investigated. To begin to elucidate the role of extracellular matrix in regulating FZD7 expression, we generated a FZD7 promoter reporter and analysed FZD7 promoter activity in colorectal cancer cells grown on different matrices. We demonstrate that the FZD7 promoter is regulated by beta-catenin in colorectal cancer cells and observed decreased promoter activity in cells grown on fibronectin but not collagen I or collagen IV. Thus, expression of FZD7 in colorectal cancer may be regulated by fibronectin in the microenvironment.
BACKGROUND: A more accurate taxonomy of small intestinal (SI) neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) is necessary to accurately predict tumor behavior and prognosis and to define therapeutic strategy. In this study, the authors identified a panel of such markers that have been implicated in tumorigenicity, metastasis, and hormone production and hypothesized that transcript levels of the genes melanoma antigen family D2 (MAGE-D2), metastasis-associated 1 (MTA1), nucleosome assembly protein 1-like (NAP1L1), Ki-67 (a marker of proliferation), survivin, frizzled homolog 7 (FZD7), the Kiss1 metastasis suppressor (Kiss1), neuropilin 2 (NRP2), and chromogranin A (CgA) could be used to define primary SI NETs and to predict the development of metastases.
METHODS: Seventy-three clinically and World Health Organization pathologically classified NET samples (primary tumor, n = 44 samples; liver metastases, n = 29 samples) and 30 normal human enterochromaffin (EC) cell preparations were analyzed using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Transcript levels were normalized to 3 NET housekeeping genes (asparagine-linked glycosylation 9 or ALG9, transcription factor CP2 or TFCP2, and zinc finger protein 410 or ZNF410) using geNorm analysis. A predictive gene-based model was constructed using supervised learning algorithms from the transcript expression levels.
RESULTS: Primary SI NETs could be differentiated from normal human EC cell preparations with 100% specificity and 92% sensitivity. Well differentiated NETs (WDNETs), well differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas, and poorly differentiated NETs (PDNETs) were classified with a specificity of 78%, 78%, and 71%, respectively; whereas poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas were misclassified as either WDNETs or PDNETs. Metastases were predicted in all cases with 100% sensitivity and specificity.
CONCLUSIONS: The current results indicated that gene expression profiling and supervised machine learning can be used to classify SI NET subtypes and accurately predict metastasis. The authors believe that the application of this technique will facilitate accurate molecular pathologic delineation of NET disease, better define its extent, facilitate the assessment of prognosis, and provide a guide for the identification of appropriate strategies for individualized patient treatment.
We investigated whether one of the Wnt receptors, frizzled-7 (FZD7), functions in the canonical Wnt signaling pathway of colorectal cancer (CRC) cells harboring an APC or CTNNB1 mutation and may be a potential therapeutic target for sporadic CRCs. The expression level of FZD gene family members in colon cancer cells and primary CRC tissues were determined by real-time PCR. Activation of the Wnt signaling pathway was evaluated by TOPflash assay. The expression level of Wnt target genes was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction and/or Western blot analysis. Cell growth and cell invasion were assessed by MTS and matrigel assays, respectively. Among 10 FZD gene family members, FZD7 mRNA was predominantly expressed in six colon cancer cell lines with APC or CTNNB1 mutation. These six cell lines were transfected with FZD7 cDNA together with a TOPflash reporter plasmid, resulting in a 1.5- to 24.3-fold increase of Tcf transcriptional activity. The mRNA expression levels of seven known Wnt target genes were also increased by 1.5- to 3.4-fold after transfection of FZD7 cDNA into HCT-116 cells. The six cell lines were then cotransfected with FZD7-siRNA and a TOPflash reporter plasmid, which reduced Tcf transcriptional activity to 20% to 80%. FZD7-siRNA was shown to significantly decrease cell viability and in vitro invasion activity after transfection into HCT-116 cells. Our present data demonstrated that FZD7 activates the canonical Wnt pathway in colon cancer cells despite the presence of APC or CTNNB1 mutation and that FZD7-siRNA may be used as a therapeutic reagent for CRCs.
Kim M, Lee HC, Tsedensodnom O, et al.Functional interaction between Wnt3 and Frizzled-7 leads to activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
J Hepatol. 2008; 48(5):780-91 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND/AIMS: The canonical Wnt signaling is frequently activated in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We previously demonstrated that upregulation of Frizzled-7 receptor (FZD7) in HCC was associated with nuclear accumulation of wild-type beta-catenin. Here, we investigated Wnt ligand(s) that may activate the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway through FZD7 in HCC cells.
METHODS: To identify Wnt ligand expression, RT-PCR was performed in HCC cells. To evaluate the function of Wnt3 and FZD7 in HCC, we utilized Wnt3 overexpressing FOCUS HCC cells (FOCUS-Wnt3) and human tumors.
RESULTS: In hepatitis B virus (HBV)-induced HCC, Wnt3 was upregulated in tumor and peritumoral tissues compared to normal liver and downstream beta-catenin target genes were also increased in these samples. Activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway in FOCUS-Wnt3 cells was demonstrated by beta-catenin accumulation, enhanced TCF transcriptional activity and proliferation rate. The activation of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in FOCUS-Wnt3 was abolished by a knockdown of FZD7 expression by siRNA. More important, a specific Wnt3-FZD7 interaction was observed by co-immunoprecipitation experiments, which suggest that the action of Wnt3 was mediated via FZD7.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate a functional interaction between Wnt3 and FZD7 leading to activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway in HCC cells and may play a role during hepatocarcinogenesis.
BACKGROUND: Wnt signaling is mediated through 1) the beta-catenin dependent canonical pathway and, 2) the beta-catenin independent pathways. Multiple receptors, including Fzds, Lrps, Ror2 and Ryk, are involved in Wnt signaling. Ror2 is a single-span transmembrane receptor-tyrosine kinase (RTK). The functions of Ror2 in mediating the non-canonical Wnt signaling have been well established. The role of Ror2 in canonical Wnt signaling is not fully understood.
RESULTS: Here we report that Ror2 also positively modulates Wnt3a-activated canonical signaling in a lung carcinoma, H441 cell line. This activity of Ror2 is dependent on cooperative interactions with Fzd2 but not Fzd7. In addition, Ror2-mediated enhancement of canonical signaling requires the extracellular CRD, but not the intracellular PRD domain of Ror2. We further provide evidence that the positive effect of Ror2 on canonical Wnt signaling is inhibited by Dkk1 and Krm1 suggesting that Ror2 enhances an Lrp-dependent STF response.
CONCLUSION: The current study demonstrates the function of Ror2 in modulating canonical Wnt signaling. These findings support a functional scheme whereby regulation of Wnt signaling is achieved by cooperative functions of multiple mediators.