Gene Summary

Gene:CCN6; cellular communication network factor 6
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the WNT1 inducible signaling pathway (WISP) protein subfamily, which belongs to the connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) family. WNT1 is a member of a family of cysteine-rich, glycosylated signaling proteins that mediate diverse developmental processes. The CTGF family members are characterized by four conserved cysteine-rich domains: insulin-like growth factor-binding domain, von Willebrand factor type C module, thrombospondin domain and C-terminal cystine knot-like domain. This gene is overexpressed in colon tumors. It may be downstream in the WNT1 signaling pathway that is relevant to malignant transformation. Mutations of this gene are associated with progressive pseudorheumatoid dysplasia, an autosomal recessive skeletal disorder, indicating that the gene is essential for normal postnatal skeletal growth and cartilage homeostasis. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:cellular communication network factor 6; WNT1-inducible-signaling pathway protein 3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (7)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Cadherins
  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Epithelium
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins
  • rhoC GTP-Binding Protein
  • Chromosome 6
  • Breast Cancer
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway
  • Knockout Mice
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Transcription Factors
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Survival Rate
  • Cell Movement
  • Staging
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Angiogenesis
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Messenger RNA
  • beta Catenin
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Transfection
  • Apoptosis
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Carcinoma
  • Phenotype
  • RT-PCR
  • CCN Intercellular Signaling Proteins
  • WISP3
  • Zinc Finger E-box-Binding Homeobox 1
  • Signal Transduction
  • Down-Regulation
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: WISP3 (cancer-related)

Cheng S, Castillo V, Sliva D
CDC20 associated with cancer metastasis and novel mushroom‑derived CDC20 inhibitors with antimetastatic activity.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(6):2250-2256 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant expression of cell division cycle 20 (CDC20) is associated with malignant progression and poor prognosis in various types of cancer. The development of specific CDC20 inhibitors may be a novel strategy for the treatment of cancer with elevated expression of CDC20. The aim of the current study was to elucidate the role of CDC20 in cancer cell invasiveness and to identify novel natural inhibitors of CDC20. The authors found that CDC20 knockdown inhibited the migration of chemoresistant PANC‑1 pancreatic cancer cells and the metastatic MDA‑MB‑231 breast cancer cell line. By contrast, the overexpression of CDC20 by plasmid transfection promoted the metastasizing capacities of the PANC‑1 cells and MCF‑7 breast cancer cells. It was also identified that a triterpene mixture extracted from the mushroom Poria cocos (PTE), purified triterpenes dehydropachymic acid, and polyporenic acid C (PPAC) downregulated the expression of CDC20 in PANC‑1 cells dose‑dependently. Migration was also suppressed by PTE and PPAC in a dose‑dependent manner, which was consistent with expectations. Taken together, the present study is the first, to the best of our knowledge, to demonstrate that CDC20 serves an important role in cancer metastasis and that triterpenes from P. cocos inhibit the migration of pancreatic cancer cells associated with CDC20. Further investigations are in progress to investigate the specific mechanism associated with CDC20 and these triterpenes, which may have future potential use as natural agents in the treatment of metastatic cancer.

Gao H, Yin FF, Guan DX, et al.
Liver cancer: WISP3 suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma progression by negative regulation of β-catenin/TCF/LEF signalling.
Cell Prolif. 2019; 52(3):e12583 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Wnt1-inducible signalling pathway protein 3 (WISP3/CCN6) belongs to the CCN (CYR61/CTGF/NOV) family of proteins, dysregulation of this family contributed to the tumorigenicity of various tumours. In this study, we need to explore its role in hepatocellular carcinoma that remains largely elusive.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The expression of WISP3/CCN6 was analysed by qRT-PCR and Western blotting. Effects of WISP3 on proliferation and metastasis of HCC cells were examined, respectively, by MTT assay and Boyden Chamber. Roles of WISP3 on HCC tumour growth and metastatic ability in vivo were detected in nude mice. Related mechanism study was confirmed by immunofluorescence and Western blotting.
RESULTS: The expression of WISP3 was significantly downregulated in HCC clinical samples and cell lines, and reversely correlated with the tumour size. Forced expression of WISP3 in HCC cells significantly suppressed cell growth and migration in vitro as well as tumour growth and metastatic seeding in vivo. In contrast, downregulation of WISP3 accelerated cell proliferation and migration, and promoted in vivo metastasis. Further study revealed that WISP3 inhibited the translocation of β-catenin to the nucleus by activating glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β). Moreover, constitutively active β-catenin blocked the suppressive effects of WISP3 on HCC.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that WISP3 suppressed the progression of HCC by negative regulation of β-catenin/TCF/LEF signalling, providing WISP3 as a potential therapeutic candidate for HCC.

Li N, Truong S, Nouri M, et al.
Non-canonical activation of hedgehog in prostate cancer cells mediated by the interaction of transcriptionally active androgen receptor proteins with Gli3.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(17):2313-2325 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hedgehog (Hh) is an oncogenic signaling pathway that regulates the activity of Gli transcription factors. Canonical Hh is a Smoothened- (Smo-) driven process that alters the post-translational processing of Gli2/Gli3 proteins. Though evidence supports a role for Gli action in prostate cancer (PCa) cell growth and progression, there is little indication that Smo is involved. Here we describe a non-canonical means for activation of Gli transcription in PCa cells mediated by the binding of transcriptionally-active androgen receptors (ARs) to Gli3. Androgens stimulated reporter expression from a Gli-dependent promoter in a variety of AR + PCa cells and this activity was suppressed by an anti-androgen, Enz, or by AR knockdown. Androgens also upregulated expression of endogenous Gli-dependent genes. This activity was associated with increased intranuclear binding of Gli3 to AR that was antagonized by Enz. Fine mapping of the AR binding domain on Gli2 showed that AR recognizes the Gli protein processing domain (PPD) in the C-terminus. Mutations in the arginine-/serine repeat elements of the Gli2 PPD involved in phosphorylation and ubiquitinylation blocked the binding to AR. β-TrCP, a ubiquitin ligase that recognizes the Gli PPD, competed with AR for binding to this site. AR binding to Gli3 suppressed its proteolytic processing to the Gli3 repressor form (Gli3R) whereas AR knockdown increased Gli3R. Both full-length and truncated ARs were able to activate Gli transcription. Finally, we found that an ARbinding decoy polypeptide derived from the Gli2 C-terminus can compete with Gli3 for binding to AR. Exogenous overexpression of this decoy suppressed Gli transcriptional activity in PCa cells. Collectively, this work identifies a novel pathway for non-canonical activation of Hh signaling in PCa cells and identifies a means for interference that may have clinical relevance for PCa patients.

Bliss SA, Paul S, Pobiarzyn PW, et al.
Evaluation of a developmental hierarchy for breast cancer cells to assess risk-based patient selection for targeted treatment.
Sci Rep. 2018; 8(1):367 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
This study proposes that a novel developmental hierarchy of breast cancer (BC) cells (BCCs) could predict treatment response and outcome. The continued challenge to treat BC requires stratification of BCCs into distinct subsets. This would provide insights on how BCCs evade treatment and adapt dormancy for decades. We selected three subsets, based on the relative expression of octamer-binding transcription factor 4 A (Oct4A) and then analysed each with Affymetrix gene chip. Oct4A is a stem cell gene and would separate subsets based on maturation. Data analyses and gene validation identified three membrane proteins, TMEM98, GPR64 and FAT4. BCCs from cell lines and blood from BC patients were analysed for these three membrane proteins by flow cytometry, along with known markers of cancer stem cells (CSCs), CD44, CD24 and Oct4, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) activity and telomere length. A novel working hierarchy of BCCs was established with the most immature subset as CSCs. This group was further subdivided into long- and short-term CSCs. Analyses of 20 post-treatment blood indicated that circulating CSCs and early BC progenitors may be associated with recurrence or early death. These results suggest that the novel hierarchy may predict treatment response and prognosis.

Mohamed MS, Abdelhamid AO, Almutairi FM, et al.
Induction of apoptosis by pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyridazine derivative in lung cancer cells via disruption of Bcl-2/Bax expression balance.
Bioorg Med Chem. 2018; 26(3):623-629 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the rapidly expanding era of cancer target therapy, regulators of apoptosis are emerging as attractive therapeutic targets. X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) is of specific interest owing to its characteristic overexpression in a wide variety of neoplasms, with a resultant survival advantage for tumor cells and treatment resistance. In this study, we examined three pyrazolo [3,4-d] pyridazine derivatives (PPDs) through molecular modeling and studied their modes of interaction with XIAP-BIR3 domain. PPD-1, which possessed the highest binding affinity with XIAP, was tested on A549 (lung cancer cell line); HCT-116 (colorectal carcinoma cell line); HEPG2 (liver carcinoma cell line), HFB4 (normal human skin melanocyte cell line) and WI-38 (human embryonic lung fibroblasts). In comparison to cisplatin as a positive control, PPD-1 yielded remarkable cytotoxicity on all cancer cell lines, with the highest anti-tumor activity on A549 and a favorable therapeutic ratio. Flow cytometry studies concluded that PPD-1 treatment induces Sub G1 and G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. The percentage of apoptotic cells in PPD-1 treated A549 cells was considerably higher than that in untreated cells (10.06% vs 0.57%, respectively). To further investigate the mechanism of induction of apoptosis by PPD-1, Real time-PCR was used to quantify the expression levels of key apoptotic regulators. Significant overexpression of the effector capsase-3, pro-apoptotic bax and tumor suppressor gene p53 were noted as compared to untreated cells (7.19 folds, 7.28 folds, and 5.08 folds, respectively). Moreover, PPD-1 inhibited the expression of the anti-apoptotic bcl-2 gene to 0.22 folds. These findings demonstrate that PPD-1 treatment disrupts the Bcl-2/BAX balance in lung cancer cell lines, leading to apoptosis induction possibly through intrinsic mitochondria-dependent pathway. These novel insights elucidate the mechanism of PPD-1 cytotoxicity in lung cancer cell lines and offer a promising therapeutic approach that needs further study.

Langut Y, Talhami A, Mamidi S, et al.
PSMA-targeted polyinosine/polycytosine vector induces prostate tumor regression and invokes an antitumor immune response in mice.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017; 114(52):13655-13660 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
There is an urgent need for an effective treatment for metastatic prostate cancer (PC). Prostate tumors invariably overexpress prostate surface membrane antigen (PSMA). We designed a nonviral vector, PEI-PEG-DUPA (PPD), comprising polyethylenimine-polyethyleneglycol (PEI-PEG) tethered to the PSMA ligand, 2-[3-(1, 3-dicarboxy propyl)ureido] pentanedioic acid (DUPA), to treat PC. The purpose of PEI is to bind polyinosinic/polycytosinic acid (polyIC) and allow endosomal release, while DUPA targets PC cells. PolyIC activates multiple pathways that lead to tumor cell death and to the activation of bystander effects that harness the immune system against the tumor, attacking nontargeted neighboring tumor cells and reducing the probability of acquired resistance and disease recurrence. Targeting polyIC directly to tumor cells avoids the toxicity associated with systemic delivery. PPD selectively delivered polyIC into PSMA-overexpressing PC cells, inducing apoptosis, cytokine secretion, and the recruitment of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). PSMA-overexpressing tumors in nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency (NOD/SCID) mice with partially reconstituted immune systems were significantly shrunken following PPD/polyIC treatment, in all cases. Half of the tumors showed complete regression. PPD/polyIC invokes antitumor immunity, but unlike many immunotherapies does not need to be personalized for each patient. The potent antitumor effects of PPD/polyIC should spur its development for clinical use.

Ai HH, Zhou ZL, Sun LG, et al.
20(S)-25-methoxyl-dammarane-3β, 12β, 20-triol negatively regulates activation of STAT3 and ERK pathways and exhibits anti-cancer effects in HepG2 cells.
Apoptosis. 2017; 22(11):1404-1418 [PubMed] Related Publications
The pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6), via activating its downstream JAK/STAT3 and Ras/ERK signaling pathways, is involved in cell growth, proliferation and anti-apoptotic activities in various malignancies. To screen inhibitors of IL-6 signaling, we constructed a STAT3 and ERK dual-pathway responsive luciferase reporter vector (Co.RE). Among several candidates, the natural compound 20(S)-25-methoxyl-dammarane-3β, 12β, 20-triol (25-OCH

Goodwin TJ, Shen L, Hu M, et al.
Liver specific gene immunotherapies resolve immune suppressive ectopic lymphoid structures of liver metastases and prolong survival.
Biomaterials. 2017; 141:260-271 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The ability to generate potent immunotherapies locally and transiently for the treatment of cancers is a promising strategy to improve efficacy and decrease off-target toxicities. Here, we explored an alternative approach for the delivery of immunotherapeutic agents, in which we deliver the pDNA of an engineered PD-L1 trap and/or CXCL12 trap to the nucleus of liver hepatocytes via a lipid calcium phosphate nanoparticle. This strategy greatly increased the concentrations of immunotherapeutic agents in the local tissue, allowing the therapy to inhibit the accumulation of immune suppressive cells and liver metastasis. Furthermore, we find that the lipid calcium phosphate nanoparticles containing the pCXCL12 trap resolved the formation of immune suppressive ectopic lymphoid structures, while the pPD-L1 trap promoted T-cell survival and migration into the liver following vaccination against tumor antigens (>180% increase in survival). This approach showed superior efficacy in the treatment of the liver metastasis compared to free protein immunotherapies. This strategy should be considered as an approach to support liver metastasis therapies as well as for future research interested in manipulating the chemokine/cytokine immune factors within the liver.
SIGNIFICANCE: Our approach results in transient liver specific expression of gene immunotherapies with improved efficacy and reduced off-target toxicities over traditional systemically administered immunotherapies. This approach would allow clinicians to manipulate the liver and immune microenvironment to resist cancer invasion, improve organ health, and prolong patient survival.

Lin CY, Tzeng HE, Li TM, et al.
WISP-3 inhibition of miR-452 promotes VEGF-A expression in chondrosarcoma cells and induces endothelial progenitor cells angiogenesis.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(24):39571-39581 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chondrosarcoma is the second most prevalent general primary tumor of bone following osteosarcoma. Chondrosarcoma development may be linked to angiogenesis, which is principally elicited by vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). VEGF-A level has been recognized as a prognostic marker in angiogenesis. WNT1-inducible signaling pathway protein-3 (WISP)-3/CCN6 belongs to the CCN family and is involved in regulating several cellular functions, including cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Nevertheless, the effect of WISP-3 on VEGF-A production and angiogenesis in human chondrosarcoma remains largely unknown. This current study shows that WISP-3 promoted VEGF-A production and induced angiogenesis of human endothelial progenitor cells. Moreover, WISP-3-enhanced VEGF-A expression and angiogenesis involved the c-Src and p38 signaling pathways, while miR-452 expression was negatively affected by WISP-3 via the c-Src and p38 pathways. Our results illustrate the clinical significance of WISP-3, VEGF-A and miR-452 in human chondrosarcoma patients. WISP-3 may illustrate a novel therapeutic target in the metastasis and angiogenesis of chondrosarcoma.

Martin EE, Huang W, Anwar T, et al.
MMTV-cre;Ccn6 knockout mice develop tumors recapitulating human metaplastic breast carcinomas.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(16):2275-2285 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metaplastic breast carcinoma is an aggressive form of invasive breast cancer with histological evidence of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, the defining molecular events are unknown. Here we show that CCN6 (WISP3), a secreted matricellular protein of the CCN (CYR61/CTGF/NOV) family, is significantly downregulated in clinical samples of human spindle cell metaplastic breast carcinoma. We generated a mouse model of mammary epithelial-specific Ccn6 deletion by developing a floxed Ccn6 mouse which was bred with an MMTV-Cre mouse. Ccn6

Lee JH, Choi YJ, Je EM, et al.
Frameshift mutation of WISP3 gene and its regional heterogeneity in gastric and colorectal cancers.
Hum Pathol. 2016; 50:146-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
WISP3 is involved in many cancer-related processes including epithelial-mesenchymal transition, cell death, invasion, and metastasis and is considered a tumor suppressor. The aim of our study was to find whether WISP3 gene was mutated and expressionally altered in gastric (GC) and colorectal cancers (CRCs). WISP3 gene possesses a mononucleotide repeat in the coding sequence that could be mutated in cancers with high microsatellite instability (MSI-H). We analyzed 79 GCs and 156 CRCs, and found that GCs (8.8%) and CRCs (10.5%) with MSI-H, but not those with microsatellite stable/low MSI, harbored a frameshift mutation. We also analyzed intratumoral heterogeneity (ITH) of the frameshift mutation in 16 CRCs and found that the WISP3 mutation exhibited regional ITH in 25% of the CRCs. In immunohistochemistry, loss of WISP3 expression was identified in 24% of GCs and 21% of CRCs. The loss of expression was more common in those with WISP3 mutation than with wild-type WISP3 and those with MSI-H than with microsatellite stable/low MSI. Our data indicate that WISP3 harbored not only frameshift mutation but also mutational ITH and loss of expression, which together might play a role in tumorigenesis of GC and CRC with MSI-H by inhibiting tumor suppressor functions of WISP3. Our data also suggest that mutation analysis in multiregions is needed for a proper evaluation of mutation status in GC and CRC with MSI-H.

Wanderi C, Kim E, Chang S, et al.
Ginsenoside 20(S)-Protopanaxadiol Suppresses Viability of Human Glioblastoma Cells via Down-regulation of Cell Adhesion Proteins and Cell-cycle Arrest.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(3):925-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pharmacologically active components of ginseng, particularly protopanaxadiol (PPD)-type ginsenosides, have potent anticancer effects, although their effects on highly malignant glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) have not been systemically evaluated. Identification of effective anticancer ginsenosides and further delineation of their mechanisms of action may provide valuable information that aids in the development of alternative or adjuvant therapy for malignant cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We examined the viability of human GBM U251-MG and U87-MG cells treated with structurally related PPD-type ginsenosides, including F2, Rh2, compound K (C-K), and PPD.
RESULTS: Incubation with PPD, C-K, and Rh2 significantly reduced the viability of U251-MG and U87-MG cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The cytotoxic effect of PPD was accompanied by reduced expression of cell adhesion proteins, including N-cadherin and integrin β1, which led to reduced phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase. Furthermore, incubation with PPD reduced the expression of cyclin D1 and subsequently induced cell-cycle arrest at the G1 phase.
CONCLUSION: These results collectively indicate that PPD might provide a new strategy for treating malignant GBM, which is quite resistant to conventional anticancer treatment.

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

Zhang Z, Li Z, Wu X, et al.
TRAIL pathway is associated with inhibition of colon cancer by protopanaxadiol.
J Pharmacol Sci. 2015; 127(1):83-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Among important components of American ginseng, protopanaxadiol (PPD) showed more active anticancer potential than other triterpenoid saponins. In this study, we determined the in vivo effects of PPD in a mouse cancer model first. Then, using human colorectal cancer cell lines, we observed significant cancer cell growth inhibition by promoting G1 cell cycle redistribution and apoptosis. Subsequently, we characterized the downstream genes targeted by PPD in HCT-116 cancer cells. Using Affymetrix high density GeneChips, we obtained the gene expression profile of the cells. Microarray data indicated that the expression levels of 76 genes were changed over two-fold after PPD, of which 52 were upregulated while the remaining 24 were downregulated. Ingenuity pathway analysis of top functions affected was carried out. Data suggested that by regulating the interactions between p53 and DR4/DR5, the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) pathway played a key role in the action of PPD, a promising colon cancer inhibitory compound.

Zhang H, Li W, Huang P, et al.
Expression of CCN family members correlates with the clinical features of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(3):1481-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Studies have reported that the CCN family of proteins plays an important role in stimulating tumorigenesis. However, the relationship between the CCN protein family members and the features of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between the expression levels of CCN protein family members and the features of HCC. Expression levels of the CCN family of proteins in 80-paired primary HCC samples and 11 normal liver samples were determined by a quantitative real-time PCR assay. Enhanced expression of nephroblastoma overexpressed protein (NOV) and decreased expression of Wnt-induced secreted protein 1 (WISP1), cysteine-rich protein 61 (CYR61) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) were found in HCC samples when compared to levels in matched non-cancerous tissues. No significant difference in WISP2 was found between matched-pair samples; only a few samples showed WISP3 expression. Furthermore, the expression levels of NOV, WISP1 and CYR61 were closely correlated with certain clinical features, including venous invasion, cellular differentiation, pTNM stage, disease-free survival and overall survival. Our results suggest that HCC progression may be enhanced by NOV and suppressed by WISP1 and CYR61. Our statistical analysis suggests that these proteins may be valuable in determining the prognosis of this deadly disease and directs attention to modulating the levels of these proteins as a potential mode of therapy.

Ladrigan MK, Poligone B
The spectrum of pigmented purpuric dermatosis and mycosis fungoides: atypical T-cell dyscrasia.
Cutis. 2014; 94(6):297-300 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report the case of a healthy 17-year-old adolescent boy with an unremarkable medical history who presented with an asymptomatic fixed rash on the abdomen, buttocks, and legs. The rash initially developed in a small area on the right leg 2 years prior and had progressed slowly. Prior biopsies were consistent with pigmented purpura. Clinical examination revealed multiple annular purpuric patches on the abdomen, buttocks, and legs covering approximately 20% of the body surface area without lymphadenopathy or hepatosplenomegaly. Additional biopsies demonstrated changes consistent with mycosis fungoides (MF). T-cell receptor g gene rearrangements demonstrated clonality. The patient was diagnosed with stage IB MF of the pigmented purpura-like variant. The patient responded well to psoralen plus UVA therapy. It has been proposed that pigmented purpuric dermatosis (PPD) is a form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoid dyscrasia and that T-cell gene rearrangement studies should be obtained for prognostic evaluation in patients with widespread disease. In our patient, the clinical appearance of the lesions, pathologic findings, and gene rearrangement studies led to the diagnosis of MF. Until the potential for evolution of PPD to malignant disease is better understood, further evaluation of MF in patients with an unusual presentation of pigmented purpura is warranted.

Rodrigues MF, de Oliveira Rodini C, de Aquino Xavier FC, et al.
PROX1 gene is differentially expressed in oral cancer and reduces cellular proliferation.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2014; 93(28):e192 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Homeobox genes are a family of transcription factors that play a pivotal role in embryogenesis. Prospero homeobox 1 (PROX1) has been shown to function as a tumor suppressor gene or oncogene in various types of cancer, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). We have previously identified PROX1 as a downregulated gene in OSCC. The aim of this study is to clarify the underlying mechanism by which PROX1 regulates tumorigenicity of OSCC cells. PROX1 mRNA and protein expression levels were first investigated in 40 samples of OSCC and in nontumor margins. Methylation and amplification analysis was also performed to assess the epigenetic and genetic mechanisms involved in controlling PROX1 expression. OSCC cell line SCC9 was also transfected to stably express the PROX1 gene. Next, SCC9-PROX1-overexpressing cells and controls were subjected to proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion assays in vitro. OSCC samples showed reduced PROX1 expression levels compared with nontumor margins. PROX1 amplification was associated with better overall survival. PROX1 overexpression reduces cell proliferation and downregulates cyclin D1. PROX1-overexpressing cells also exhibited reduced CK18 and CK19 expression and transcriptionally altered the expression of WISP3, GATA3, NOTCH1, and E2F1. Our results suggest that PROX1 functions as a tumor suppressor gene in oral carcinogenesis.

Fang F, Zhao WY, Li RK, et al.
Silencing of WISP3 suppresses gastric cancer cell proliferation and metastasis and inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2014; 7(10):6447-61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CCN6/Wnt1-inducible signaling protein-3 (CCN6/WISP3) is a cysteine-rich protein that belongs to the CCN (Cyr61, CTGF, Nov) family of matricellular proteins, which are often dysregulated in cancers. However, the functional role and clinical significance of WISP3 in gastric cancer remain unclear. In this study, we found that silencing of WISP3 suppressed gastric cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Cell adhesion to collagens (collagen I and IV), but not to fibronectin, were significantly inhibited by silencing of WISP3. Furthermore, silencing of WISP3 prevented β-catenin transferring from cell cytoplasm to nuclear, and suppressed canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling and its downstream target genes, cyclin D1 and TCF-4. By immunohistochemical analysis of 379 patients, we found that the expression of WISP3 is closely associated with gastric cancer size and tumor invasion, and indicates a poor prognosis in both test cohort (253 patients) and validation cohort (126 patients). Moreover, the expression of WISP3 was positively correlated with the expression of cyclin D1 and TCF-4 in gastric cancer tissues. Taken together, our data suggests that WISP3 might be a promising prognostic factor and WISP3-Wnt/β-catenin axis may be a new therapeutic target for the intervention of gastric cancer growth and metastasis.

Cao B, Qi Y, Yang Y, et al.
20(S)-protopanaxadiol inhibition of progression and growth of castration-resistant prostate cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(11):e111201 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Castration-resistant progression of prostate cancer after androgen deprivation therapies remains the most critical challenge in the clinical management of prostate cancer. Resurgent androgen receptor (AR) activity is an established driver of castration-resistant progression, and upregulation of the full-length AR (AR-FL) and constitutively-active AR splice variants (AR-Vs) has been implicated to contribute to the resurgent AR activity. We reported previously that ginsenoside 20(S)-protopanaxadiol-aglycone (PPD) can reduce the abundance of both AR-FL and AR-Vs. In the present study, we further showed that the effect of PPD on AR expression and target genes was independent of androgen. PPD treatment resulted in a suppression of ligand-independent AR transactivation. Moreover, PPD delayed castration-resistant regrowth of LNCaP xenograft tumors after androgen deprivation and inhibited the growth of castration-resistant 22Rv1 xenograft tumors with endogenous expression of AR-FL and AR-Vs. This was accompanied by a decline in serum prostate-specific antigen levels as well as a decrease in AR levels and mitoses in the tumors. Notably, the 22Rv1 xenograft tumors were resistant to growth inhibition by the next-generation anti-androgen enzalutamide. The present study represents the first to show the preclinical efficacy of PPD in inhibiting castration-resistant progression and growth of prostate cancer. The findings provide a rationale for further developing PPD or its analogues for prostate cancer therapy.

Renieri A, Mencarelli MA, Cetta F, et al.
Oligogenic germline mutations identified in early non-smokers lung adenocarcinoma patients.
Lung Cancer. 2014; 85(2):168-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: A polygenic model is commonly assumed for the predisposition to common cancers. With respect to lung cancer, Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have identified three loci at 15q25, 5p15.33, and 6p21. However, the relative risks associated with alleles at these loci are low; in addition, the data are limited to smokers, and have not been quite reproducible.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In order to investigate genetic susceptibility we have adopted an entirely novel patient selection strategy. First, we have selected for adenocarcinoma (ADCA) histology only; second, we have selected non-smokers; third we have selected patients who developed ADCA of lung before the age of 60 and who had an older unaffected sib: we have identified 31 such sib-pairs. Among them, we selected two patients with very early age at disease onset (37- and 49-years old), and having a healthy sibling available for genome comparison older than at least 7 years.
RESULTS: On germline DNA samples of four subjects of two such pairs we have carried out whole exome sequencing. Truncating mutations were detected in 8 'cancer genes' in one affected, and in 5 cancer genes in the other affected subject: but none in the two healthy sibs (p=0.0026). Some of these mutant genes (such as BAG6, SPEN and WISP3) are recognized as major cancer players in lung tumors; others have been previously identified in other human cancers (JAK2, TCEB3C, NELFE, TAF1B, EBLN2), in mouse models (GON4L, NOP58, and RBMX) or in genome-wide association studies (KIAA2018, ZNF311).
CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies for the first time in non-smokers with lung adenocarcinoma specific sets of germline mutations that, together, may predispose to this tumor.

Gao JL, Lv GY, He BC, et al.
Ginseng saponin metabolite 20(S)-protopanaxadiol inhibits tumor growth by targeting multiple cancer signaling pathways.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 30(1):292-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Plant-derived active constituents and their semi-synthetic or synthetic analogs have served as major sources of anticancer drugs. 20(S)-protopanaxadiol (PPD) is a metabolite of ginseng saponin of both American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer). We previously demonstrated that ginsenoside Rg3, a glucoside precursor of PPD, exhibits anti-proliferative effects on HCT116 cells and reduces tumor size in a xenograft model. Our subsequent study indicated that PPD has more potent antitumor activity than that of Rg3 in vitro although the mechanism underlying the anticancer activity of PPD remains to be defined. Here, we investigated the mechanism underlying the anticancer activity of PPD in human cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. PPD was shown to inhibit growth and induce cell cycle arrest in HCT116 cells. The in vivo studies indicate that PPD inhibits xenograft tumor growth in athymic nude mice bearing HCT116 cells. The xenograft tumor size was significantly reduced when the animals were treated with PPD (30 mg/kg body weight) for 3 weeks. When the expression of previously identified Rg3 targets, A kinase (PRKA) anchor protein 8 (AKAP8L) and phosphatidylinositol transfer protein α (PITPNA), was analyzed, PPD was shown to inhibit the expression of PITPNA while upregulating AKAP8L expression in HCT116 cells. Pathway-specific reporter assays indicated that PPD effectively suppressed the NF-κB, JNK and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways. Taken together, our results suggest that the anticancer activity of PPD in colon cancer cells may be mediated through targeting NF-κB, JNK and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways, although the detailed mechanisms underlying the anticancer mode of PPD action need to be fully elucidated.

Cheng S, Eliaz I, Lin J, et al.
Triterpenes from Poria cocos suppress growth and invasiveness of pancreatic cancer cells through the downregulation of MMP-7.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 42(6):1869-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Poria cocos is a medicinal mushroom that is widely used in traditional Asian medicine. Here, we show that a characterized mixture of triterpenes extracted from P. cocos (PTE) and three purified triterpenes: pachymic acid (PA), dehydropachymic acid (DPA) and polyporenic acid C (PPAC) suppress the proliferation of the human pancreatic cancer cell lines Panc-1, MiaPaca-2, AsPc-1 and BxPc-3. Moreover, the most effective compound, PA, only slightly affects the proliferation of HPDE-6 normal pancreatic duct epithelial cells. The anti-proliferative effects of PTE on BxPc-3 cells are mediated by the cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase. DNA microarray analysis demonstrated that PTE significantly downregulates the expression of KRAS and matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7) in BxPc-3 cells. In addition, PTE and PA suppress the invasive behavior of BxPc-3 cells. The inhibition of invasiveness by PTE and PA was associated with the reduction of MMP-7 at the protein level and the role of MMP-7 further confirmed by the gene silencing of MMP-7 which also suppressed the invasiveness of BxPc-3 cells. In conclusion, triterpenes from P. cocos demonstrate anticancer and anti-invasive effects on human pancreatic cancer cells and can be considered as new therapeutic agents in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Wang W, Zhang X, Qin JJ, et al.
Natural product ginsenoside 25-OCH3-PPD inhibits breast cancer growth and metastasis through down-regulating MDM2.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e41586 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although ginseng and related herbs have a long history of utility for various health benefits, their application in cancer therapy and underlying mechanisms of action are not fully understood. Our recent work has shown that 20(S)-25-methoxyl-dammarane-3β, 12β, 20-triol (25-OCH(3)-PPD), a newly identified ginsenoside from Panax notoginseng, exerts activities against a variety of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. This study was designed to investigate its anti-breast cancer activity and the underlying mechanisms of action. We observed that 25-OCH(3)-PPD decreased the survival of breast cancer cells by induction of apoptosis and G1 phase arrest and inhibited the growth of breast cancer xenografts in vivo. We further demonstrated that, in a dose- and time-dependent manner, 25-OCH(3)-PPD inhibited MDM2 expression at both transcriptional and post-translational levels in human breast cancer cells with various p53 statuses (wild type and mutant). Moreover, 25-OCH(3)-PPD inhibited in vitro cell migration, reduced the expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers, and prevented in vivo metastasis of breast cancer. In summary, 25-OCH(3)-PPD is a potential therapeutic and anti-metastatic agent for human breast cancer through down-regulating MDM2. Further preclinical and clinical development of this agent is warranted.

Cao B, Liu X, Li J, et al.
20(S)-protopanaxadiol-aglycone downregulation of the full-length and splice variants of androgen receptor.
Int J Cancer. 2013; 132(6):1277-87 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
As a public health problem, prostate cancer engenders huge economic and life-quality burden. Developing effective chemopreventive regimens to alleviate the burden remains a major challenge. Androgen signaling is vital to the development and progression of prostate cancer. Targeting androgen signaling via blocking the production of the potent ligand dihydrotestosterone has been shown to decrease prostate cancer incidence. However, the potential of increasing the incidence of high-grade prostate cancers has been a concern. Mechanisms of disease progression after the intervention may include increased expression of androgen receptor (AR) in prostate tissue and expression of the constitutively active AR splice variants (AR-Vs) lacking the ligand-binding domain. Thus, novel agents targeting the receptor, preferentially both the full-length and AR-Vs, are urgently needed. In the present study, we show that ginsenoside 20(S)-protopanaxadiol-aglycone (PPD) effectively downregulates the expression and activity of both the full-length AR and AR-Vs. The effects of PPD on AR and AR-Vs are manifested by an immediate drop in proteins followed by a reduction in transcripts, attributed to PPD induction of proteasome-mediated degradation and inhibition of the transcription of the AR gene. We further show that although PPD inhibits the growth as well as AR expression and activity in LNCaP xenograft tumors, the morphology and AR expression in normal prostates are not affected. This study is the first to show that PPD suppresses androgen signaling through downregulating both the full-length AR and AR-Vs, and provides strong rationale for further developing PPD as a promising agent for the prevention and/or treatment of prostate cancer.

Jamsheer A, Sowińska A, Trzeciak T, et al.
Expanded mutational spectrum of the GLI3 gene substantiates genotype-phenotype correlations.
J Appl Genet. 2012; 53(4):415-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome (GCPS) and isolated preaxial polydactyly type IV (PPD-IV) are rare autosomal dominant disorders, both caused by mutations in the GLI3 gene. GCPS is mainly characterised by craniofacial abnormalities (macrocephaly/prominent forehead, hypertelorism) and limb malformations, such as PPD-IV, syndactyly and postaxial polydactyly type A or B (PAPA/B). Mutations in the GLI3 gene can also lead to Pallister-Hall syndrome (PHS) and isolated PAPA/B. In this study, we investigated 16 unrelated probands with the clinical diagnosis of GCPS/PPD-IV and found GLI3 mutations in 12 (75%) of them (nine familial and three sporadic cases). We also performed a detailed clinical evaluation of all 12 GLI3-positive families, with a total of 27 patients. The hallmark triad of GCPS (preaxial polydactyly, macrocephaly/prominent forehead, hypertelorism) was present in 14 cases (52%), whereas at least one typical dysmorphic feature was manifested in 17 patients (63%). Upon sequencing of the GLI3 gene, we demonstrated eight novel and two previously reported heterozygous point mutations. We also performed multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) to screen for intragenic copy number changes and identified heterozygous deletions in the two remaining cases (16.7%). Our findings fully support previous genotype-phenotype correlations, showing that exonic deletions, missense mutations, as well as truncating variants localised out of the middle third of the GLI3 gene result in GCPS/PPD-IV and not PHS. Additionally, our study shows that intragenic GLI3 deletions may account for a significant proportion of GCPS/PPD-IV causative mutations. Therefore, we propose that MLPA or quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) should be implemented into routine molecular diagnostic of the GLI3 gene.

Zhu GY, Li YW, Tse AK, et al.
20(S)-Protopanaxadiol, a metabolite of ginsenosides, induced cell apoptosis through endoplasmic reticulum stress in human hepatocarcinoma HepG2 cells.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2011; 668(1-2):88-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
20(S)-Protopanaxadiol (PPD), a metabolite of ginsenosides, has been demonstrated to possess cytotoxic effects on several cancer cell lines. The molecular mechanism is, however, not well understood. In this study, we have shown that PPD inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in human hepatocarcinoma HepG2 cells. PPD-treated cells showed a massive cytoplasmic vacuolization and a dramatic change of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) morphology. The induction of ER stress is associated with the upregulation of ER stress-associated genes and proteins. PPD activates the unfolded protein response (UPR) through the phosphorylation of PERK and eIF2α, the splicing of XBP1 mRNA, and the cleavage of AFT6. PPD also induces the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. It activates DR5, caspase-8, -9, -3, and promotes the cleavage of PARP while it downregulates Bcl-2, Bcl-x(L) and mitochondrial membrane potential. Knockdown of one of the three UPR limbs by specific siRNAs did not affect PPD-induced apoptosis, which was however, significantly suppressed by the downregulation of CHOP. Western blot analysis showed that PPD-stimulated downregulation of Bcl-2 protein, increase of DR5 protein, activation of caspase-8 and cleavage of PARP were significantly inhibited in CHOP siRNA-transfected cells. Taken together, we have identified ER as a molecular target of PPD and our data support the hypothesis that PPD induces HepG2 cell apoptosis through the ER stress pathway.

Lorenzatti G, Huang W, Pal A, et al.
CCN6 (WISP3) decreases ZEB1-mediated EMT and invasion by attenuation of IGF-1 receptor signaling in breast cancer.
J Cell Sci. 2011; 124(Pt 10):1752-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
During progression of breast cancer, CCN6 protein exerts tumor inhibitory functions. CCN6 is a secreted protein that modulates the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling pathway. Knockdown of CCN6 in benign mammary epithelial cells triggers an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), with upregulation of the transcription factor ZEB1/δEF1. How CCN6 regulates ZEB1 expression is unknown. We hypothesized that CCN6 might regulate ZEB1, EMT and breast cancer invasion by modulating IGF-1 signaling. Exogenously added human recombinant CCN6 protein was sufficient to downregulate ZEB1 mRNA and protein levels in CCN6-deficient (CCN6 KD) HME cells and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Recombinant CCN6 protein decreased invasion of CCN6 KD cells compared with controls. We discovered that knockdown of CCN6 induced IGF-1 secretion in HME cells cultivated in serum-free medium to higher concentrations than found in MDA-MB-231 cells. Treatment with recombinant CCN6 protein was sufficient to decrease IGF-1 protein and mRNA to control levels, rescuing the effect of CCN6 knockdown. Specific inhibition of IGF-1 receptors using the pharmacological inhibitor NVP-AE541 or short hairpin shRNAs revealed that ZEB1 upregulation due to knockdown of CCN6 requires activation of IGF-1 receptor signaling. Recombinant CCN6 blunted IGF-1-induced ZEB1 upregulation in MDA-MB-231 cells. Our data define a pathway in which CCN6 attenuates IGF-1 signaling to decrease ZEB1 expression and invasion in breast cancer. These results suggest that CCN6 could be a target to prevent or halt breast cancer invasion.

Hatakeyama H, Akita H, Ito E, et al.
Systemic delivery of siRNA to tumors using a lipid nanoparticle containing a tumor-specific cleavable PEG-lipid.
Biomaterials. 2011; 32(18):4306-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previously, we developed a multifunctional envelope-type nano device (MEND) for efficient delivery of nucleic acids. For tumor delivery of a MEND, PEGylation is a useful method, which confers a longer systemic circulation and tumor accumulation via the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. However, PEGylation inhibits cellular uptake and subsequent endosomal escape. To overcome this, we developed a PEG-peptide-DOPE (PPD) that is cleaved in a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-rich environment. In this study, we report on the systemic delivery of siRNA to tumors by employing a MEND that is modified with PPD (PPD-MEND). An in vitro study revealed that PPD modification accelerated both cellular uptake and endosomal escape, compared to a conventional PEG modified MEND. To balance both systemic stability and efficient activity, PPD-MEND was further co-modified with PEG-DSPE. As a result, the systemic administration of the optimized PPD-MEND resulted in an approximately 70% silencing activity in tumors, compared to non-treatment. Finally, a safety evaluation showed that the PPD-MEND showed no hepatotoxicity and innate immune stimulation. Furthermore, in a DNA microarray analysis in liver and spleen tissue, less gene alternation was found for the PPD-MEND compared to that for the PEG-unmodified MEND due to less accumulation in liver and spleen.

Lee JI, Ha YW, Choi TW, et al.
Cellular uptake of ginsenosides in Korean white ginseng and red ginseng and their apoptotic activities in human breast cancer cells.
Planta Med. 2011; 77(2):133-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Panax ginseng has been reported to have cancer-preventive properties and, through anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pro-apoptotic mechanisms, to influence gene expression. However, the comparison of Korean white ginseng (WG) and red ginseng (RG) in their apoptotic effects and the identification of the selective cellular uptake of the ginsenosides in human breast cancer cells have not yet been fully understood. In the present study, the relative nonpolar and protopanaxadiol (PPD) class ginsenosides exhibited more cytotoxic and efficient cellular uptake on MCF-7 cells compared with the relative polar and protopanaxatriol (PPT) class compounds. PPD class ginsenosides were present in RG in a 2.5 times higher concentration as compared to WG, while PPT class ginsenosides were only present in WG. Thus, RG exerted more potent cytotoxicity than WG against MCF-7 and MDA-MB231 cells. RG also increased the sub-G1 DNA contents of the cell cycle and Annexin V-positive apoptotic bodies undergoing apoptosis through the caspase-3 activation in MCF-7 cells. In addition, RG downregulated the proliferative and anti-apoptotic gene products and potentiated paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. Overall, RG contained a higher concentration of PPD class ginsenosides as compared to WG; the greater cellular uptake of PPD resulted in more substantial antiproliferative activity in human breast cancer cells.

Frank B, Hoffmeister M, Klopp N, et al.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms in Wnt signaling and cell death pathway genes and susceptibility to colorectal cancer.
Carcinogenesis. 2010; 31(8):1381-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
It is well known that approximately 90% of colorectal cancer (CRC) cases originate from the constitutive activation of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. There is increasing evidence that genetic variation both in Wnt and apoptotic pathway genes affects CRC susceptibility and progression. This population-based case-control study, including 1795 CRC cases and 1805 controls, investigates the association between common, putative functional polymorphisms in DNFA5, HIF1A, NDRG1, PYGO1, SFRP2, SFRP4, WISP1 and WISP3 genes and CRC risk. We found no evidence for an association between the selected allelic variants and risk of CRC. Subsite analyses, however, revealed a significant association of HIF1A c.*191T>C with rectal cancer risk [odds ratio (OR) = 1.25, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.03-1.51, P = 0.03] comparing minor allele carriers with major allele homozygotes. In addition, homozygosity for the minor allele of SFRP4 P320T was significantly associated with rectal cancer risk (OR = 1.37, 95% CI, 1.06-1.79, P = 0.02) and early-stage CRC (OR = 1.33, 95% CI, 1.05-1.69, P = 0.02). This study does not support the hypothesis that Wnt signaling- and apoptosis-related polymorphisms contribute to CRC risk. However, our results provide evidence that CRC subsets may be affected. If confirmed, this knowledge may be used to assess individual susceptibility and to target potential measures of cancer prevention.

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