Research IndicatorsGraph generated 20 August 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 20 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (2)
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: WISP2 (cancer-related)
Akalay I, Tan TZ, Kumar P, et al.Targeting WNT1-inducible signaling pathway protein 2 alters human breast cancer cell susceptibility to specific lysis through regulation of KLF-4 and miR-7 expression.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(17):2261-71 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The molecular basis for the resistance of tumor cells to cell-mediated cytotoxicity remains poorly understood and thus poses a major challenge for cancer immunotherapy. The present study was designed to determine whether the WNT1-inducible signaling pathway protein 2 (WISP2, also referred to as CCN5), a key regulator of tumor cell plasticity, interferes with tumor susceptibility to cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL)-mediated lysis. We found that silencing WISP2 signaling in human breast adenocarcinoma MCF7 cells impairs CTL-mediated cell killing by a mechanism involving stem cell marker Kruppel-like factor-4 (KLF-4) induction and microRNA-7 (miR-7) downregulation. Inhibition of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling using the A83-01 inhibitor in MCF7-shWISP2 cells resulted in a significant reversal of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transitioned (EMT) phenotype, the expression of KLF-4 and a partial recovery of target susceptibility to CTLs. More importantly, we showed that silencing KLF-4 was accompanied by a reduction in MCF7-shWISP2 resistance to CTLs. Using human breast cancer tissues, we demonstrated the coexpression of KLF-4 with EMT markers and TGF-β pathway signaling components. More importantly, we found that KLF-4 expression was accompanied by miR-7 inhibition, which is partly responsible for impairing CTL-mediated lysis. Thus, our data indicate that WISP2 has a role in regulating tumor cell susceptibility through EMT by inducing the TGF-β signaling pathway, KLF-4 expression and miR-7 inhibition. These studies indicate for the first time that WISP2 acts as an activator of CTL-induced killing and suggests that the loss of its function promotes evasion of immunosurveillance and the ensuing progression of the tumor.
Wu MY, Xie X, Xu ZK, et al.PP2A inhibitors suppress migration and growth of PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cells through inhibition on the Wnt/β-catenin pathway by phosphorylation and degradation of β-catenin.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(2):513-22 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cantharidin is an active constituent of mylabris, a traditional Chinese medicine, and presents strong anticancer activity in various cell lines. Cantharidin is a potent and selective inhibitor of serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Our previous studies revealed the prospect of application of cantharidin, as well as other PP2A inhibitors, in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. However, the mechanisms involved in the anticancer effect of PP2A inhibitors have not been fully explored. The Wnt/β‑catenin pathway is involved in cell migration and proliferation and participates in the progression of pancreatic cancer. If β‑catenin is phosphorylated and degraded, the Wnt/β‑catenin pathway is blocked. PP2A dephosphorylates β‑catenin and keeps the Wnt/β‑catenin pathway active. In the present study, we found that PP2A inhibitor treatment induced phosphorylation and degradation of β‑catenin. The suppression on the migration and growth of PANC‑1 pancreatic cancer cells could be attenuated by pretreatment with FH535, a β‑catenin pathway inhibitor. Microarray showed that PP2A inhibitor treatment induced expression changes in 13 of 138 genes downstream of the β‑catenin pathway. Real‑time PCR further confirmed that FH535 attenuated the expression changes induced by PP2A inhibitors in 6 of these 13 candidate genes. These 6 genes, VEGFB, Dkk3, KRT8, NRP1, Cacnalg and WISP2, have been confirmed to participate in the migration and/or growth regulation in previous studies. Thus, the phosphorylation- and degradation-mediated suppression on β‑catenin participates in the cytotoxicity of PP2A inhibitors. Our findings may provide insight into the treatment of pancreatic cancer using a targeting PP2A strategy.
Zhang YW, Zheng Y, Wang JZ, et al.Integrated analysis of DNA methylation and mRNA expression profiling reveals candidate genes associated with cisplatin resistance in non-small cell lung cancer.
Epigenetics. 2014; 9(6):896-909 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
DNA methylation plays a critical role during the development of acquired chemoresistance. The aim of this study was to identify candidate DNA methylation drivers of cisplatin (DDP) resistance in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The A549/DDP cell line was established by continuous exposure of A549 cells to increasing concentrations of DDP. Gene expression and methylation profiling were determined by high-throughput microarrays. Relationship of methylation status and DDP response was validated in primary tumor cell culture and the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) samples. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle, and response to DDP were determined in vitro and in vivo. A total of 372 genes showed hypermethylation and downregulation in A549/DDP cells, and these genes were involved in most fundamental biological processes. Ten candidate genes (S100P, GDA, WISP2, LOXL1, TIMP4, ICAM1, CLMP, HSP8, GAS1, BMP2) were selected, and exhibited varying degrees of association with DDP resistance. Low dose combination of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC) and trichostatin A (TSA) reversed drug resistance of A549/DDP cells in vitro and in vivo, along with demethylation and restoration of expression of candidate genes (GAS1, TIMP4, ICAM1 and WISP2). Forced expression of GAS1 in A549/DDP cells by gene transfection contributed to increased sensitivity to DDP, proliferation inhibition, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis enhancement, and in vivo growth retardation. Together, our study demonstrated that a panel of candidate genes downregulated by DNA methylation induced DDP resistance in NSCLC, and showed that epigenetic therapy resensitized cells to DDP.
It has been proposed that the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in mammary epithelial cells and breast cancer cells generates stem cell features. WISP2 (Wnt-1-induced signaling protein-2) plays an important role in maintenance of the differentiated phenotype of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cells and loss of WISP2 is associated with EMT. We now report that loss of WISP2 in MCF7 breast cancer cells can also promote the emergence of a cancer stem-like cell phenotype characterized by high expression of CD44, increased aldehyde dehydrogenase activity and mammosphere formation. Higher levels of the stem cell markers Nanog and Oct3/4 were observed in those mammospheres. In addition we show that low-cell inoculums are capable of tumor formation in the mammary fat pad of immunodeficient mice. Gene expression analysis show an enrichment of markers linked to stem cell function such as SOX9 and IGFBP7 which is linked to TGF-β inducible, SMAD3-dependent transcription. Taken together, our data demonstrate that WISP2 loss promotes both EMT and the stem-like cell phenotype.
Ji J, Jia S, Ji K, Jiang WGWnt1 inducible signalling pathway protein-2 (WISP‑2/CCN5): roles and regulation in human cancers (review).
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(2):533-9 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Wnt1 inducible signalling pathway protein-2 (WISP‑2), also known as CCN5, CT58, CTGF-L, CTGF-3, HICP and Cop1, is one of the 3 WNT1 inducible proteins that belongs to the CCN family. This family of members has been shown to play multiple roles in a number of pathophysiological processes, including cell proliferation, adhesion, wound healing, extracellular matrix regulation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis, fibrosis, skeletal development and embryo implantation. Recent results suggest that WISP-2 is relevant to tumorigenesis and malignant transformation, particularly in breast cancer, colorectal cancer and hepatocarcinoma. Notably, its roles in cancer appear to vary depending on cell/tumour type and the microenvironment. The striking difference in the structure of WISP-2 in comparison with the other 2 family members may contribute to its difference in functions, which leads to the hypothesis that WISP-2 may act as a dominant-negative regulator of other CCN family members. In the present review, we summarise the roles, regulation and underlying mechanism of WISP-2 in human cancers.
Frewer KA, Sanders AJ, Owen S, et al.A role for WISP2 in colorectal cancer cell invasion and motility.
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2013 Jul-Aug; 10(4):187-96 [PubMed
] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: WNT inducible secreted protein 2 (WISP2) has been linked with a variety of human cancer types and may contribute to cancer metastasis. The current study investigated the importance of WISP2 in colorectal cancer cells, examining the impact of targeting WISP2 on Caco-2 cell invasion and motility together with potential mechanisms of action.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: WISP2 expression was targeted in Caco-2 cells using a ribozyme transgene system and successful knockdown was verified using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The impact of WISP2 knockout (Caco-2(WISP2 KO)) on cell growth, adhesion, motility and invasion was examined using a number of in vitro functional assays. In vitro invasion assays were repeated in the presence of wingless-type MMTV integration site family (WNT) inhibitors (FH535 and IWP-2) to investigate the role of the WNT-signalling pathway in the regulation of cell invasion by WISP2. Quantitative-PCR was conducted to measure matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression in control [wild-type (Caco-2(WT)) and cells containing the empty pEF6 plasmid (Caco-2(pEF6))] and Caco-2(WISP2 KO) cells.
RESULTS: WISP2 knockout resulted in a significant increase in Caco-2 cell invasion and motility (p<0.05 in comparison to wild-type and plasmid control Caco-2 cells). WISP2 knockout had no significant effect on Caco-2 cell growth rate in 3- and 5-day incubation and no significant impact on Caco-2 cell-matrix adhesion rates (p>0.05). Expression analysis of a number of MMPs indicated an insignificant up-regulation of MMP2, MMP9 (p>0.05) but significant up-regulation of MMP7 (p=0.025) in Caco-2(WISP2 KO) cells compared to controls. Inhibition of WNT signalling using FH535 and IWP-2 brought about a significant or borderline significant decrease in Caco-2(WISP2 KO) cell invasion (FH535 p=0.065) and (IWP-2 p=0.002) and negated the pro-invasive effect of targeting WISP2 in Caco-2 cells.
CONCLUSION: WISP2 knockout significantly increased Caco-2 cell invasion and motility. Up-regulation of MMP2, -7 and -9 may indicate that WISP2 regulates invasion and motility through MMPs. Regulation of invasion by WISP2 may involve the WNT signalling pathway.
Wierer M, Verde G, Pisano P, et al.PLK1 signaling in breast cancer cells cooperates with estrogen receptor-dependent gene transcription.
Cell Rep. 2013; 3(6):2021-32 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) is a key regulator of cell division and is overexpressed in many types of human cancers. Compared to its well-characterized role in mitosis, little is known about PLK1 functions in interphase. Here, we report that PLK1 mediates estrogen receptor (ER)-regulated gene transcription in human breast cancer cells. PLK1 interacts with ER and is recruited to ER cis-elements on chromatin. PLK1-coactivated genes included classical ER target genes such as Ps2, Wisp2, and Serpina3 and were enriched in developmental and tumor-suppressive functions. Performing large-scale phosphoproteomics of estradiol-treated MCF7 cells in the presence or absence of the specific PLK1 inhibitor BI2536, we identified several PLK1 end targets involved in transcription, including the histone H3K4 trimethylase MLL2, the function of which on ER target genes was impaired by PLK1 inhibition. Our results propose a mechanism for the tumor-suppressive role of PLK1 in mammals as an interphase transcriptional regulator.
BACKGROUND: The Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway regulates genes involved in cell proliferation, survival, migration and invasion through regulation by T-cell factor (TCF)-4 transcription factor proteins. However, the role of TCF-4 isoforms generated by alternative splicing events in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is unknown.
AIM: Here, we investigated TCF-4 isoforms (TCF-4J and K)-responsive target genes that are important in hepatic oncogenesis and tumour development.
METHODS: Gene expression microarray was performed on HCC cells overexpressing TCF-4J and K isoforms. Expression level of selected target genes was evaluated and correlations were made between their expression level and that of TCF-4 isoform in 47 pairs of human HCC tumours.
RESULTS: Comparison by gene expression microarray revealed that 447 genes were upregulated and 343 downregulated more than 2.0-fold in TCF-4J compared with TCF-4K expressing cells. We validated expression of 18 selected target genes involved in Wnt/β-catenin, insulin/IGF-1/IRS1 and Notch signalling pathways in 47 pairs of human HCCs and adjacent uninvolved liver tissues. It was observed that 13 genes (CLDN2, STK17B, SPP1, AXIN2, WISP2, MMP7, IRS1, ANXA1, CAMK2N1, ASPH, GPR56, CD24 and JAG1) activated by TCF-4J isoform in HCC cells, were also upregulated in HCC tumours compared with adjacent peritumour tissue; more importantly, 10 genes exhibited a significant correlation with the TCF-4J expression level in tumour.
CONCLUSION: TCF-4 isoforms (TCF-4J and K) activated different downstream target genes in HCC. The biological consequence of TCF-4J isoform expression was upregulation of genes associated with tripartite Wnt/β-catenin, insulin/IGF-1/IRS1 and Notch signal transduction pathway activation, which contribute to the pathogenesis of HCC.
INTRODUCTION: Canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways are involved in the genesis of multiple tumors; however, their role in pituitary tumorigenesis is mostly unknown.
OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated gene and protein expression of Wnt pathways in pituitary tumors and whether these expression correlate to clinical outcome.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Genes of the WNT canonical pathway: activating ligands (WNT11, WNT4, WNT5A), binding inhibitors (DKK3, sFRP1), β-catenin (CTNNB1), β-catenin degradation complex (APC, AXIN1, GSK3β), inhibitor of β-catenin degradation complex (AKT1), sequester of β-catenin (CDH1), pathway effectors (TCF7, MAPK8, NFAT5), pathway mediators (DVL-1, DVL-2, DVL-3, PRICKLE, VANGL1), target genes (MYB, MYC, WISP2, SPRY1, TP53, CCND1); calcium dependent pathway (PLCB1, CAMK2A, PRKCA, CHP); and planar cell polarity pathway (PTK7, DAAM1, RHOA) were evaluated by QPCR, in 19 GH-, 18 ACTH-secreting, 21 non-secreting (NS) pituitary tumors, and 5 normal pituitaries. Also, the main effectors of canonical (β-catenin), planar cell polarity (JNK), and calcium dependent (NFAT5) Wnt pathways were evaluated by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: There are no differences in gene expression of canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways between all studied subtypes of pituitary tumors and normal pituitaries, except for WISP2, which was over-expressed in ACTH-secreting tumors compared to normal pituitaries (4.8x; p = 0.02), NS pituitary tumors (7.7x; p = 0.004) and GH-secreting tumors (5.0x; p = 0.05). β-catenin, NFAT5 and JNK proteins showed no expression in normal pituitaries and in any of the pituitary tumor subtypes. Furthermore, no association of the studied gene or protein expression was observed with tumor size, recurrence, and progressive disease. The hierarchical clustering showed a regular pattern of genes of the canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways randomly distributed throughout the dendrogram.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data reinforce previous reports suggesting no activation of canonical Wnt pathway in pituitary tumorigenesis. Moreover, we describe, for the first time, evidence that non-canonical Wnt pathways are also not mis-expressed in the pituitary tumors.
Ferrand N, Stragier E, Redeuilh G, Sabbah MGlucocorticoids induce CCN5/WISP-2 expression and attenuate invasion in oestrogen receptor-negative human breast cancer cells.
Biochem J. 2012; 447(1):71-9 [PubMed
] Related Publications
CCN5 (cysteine-rich 61/connective tissue growth factor/nephroblastoma overexpressed 5)/WISP-2 [WNT1 (wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 1)-inducible signalling pathway protein 2] is an oestrogen-regulated member of the CCN family. CCN5 is a transcriptional repressor of genes associated with the EMT (epithelial-mesenchymal transition) and plays an important role in maintenance of the differentiated phenotype in ER (oestrogen receptor)-positive breast cancer cells. In contrast, CCN5 is undetectable in more aggressive ER-negative breast cancer cells. We now report that CCN5 is induced in ER-negative breast cancer cells such as MDA-MB-231 following glucocorticoid exposure, due to interaction of the endogenous glucocorticoid receptor with a functional glucocorticoid-response element in the CCN5 gene promoter. Glucocorticoid treatment of MDA-MB-231 cells is accompanied by morphological alterations, decreased invasiveness and attenuated expression of mesenchymal markers, including vimentin, cadherin 11 and ZEB1 (zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1). Interestingly, glucocorticoid exposure did not increase CCN5 expression in ER-positive breast cancer cells, but rather down-regulated ER expression, thereby attenuating oestrogen pathway signalling. Taken together, our results indicate that glucocorticoid treatment of ER-negative breast cancer cells induces high levels of CCN5 expression and is accompanied by the appearance of a more differentiated and less invasive epithelial phenotype. These findings propose a novel therapeutic strategy for high-risk breast cancer patients.
Ouelaa-Benslama R, De Wever O, Hendrix A, et al.Identification of a GαGβγ, AKT and PKCα signalome associated with invasive growth in two genetic models of human breast cancer cell epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.
Int J Oncol. 2012; 41(1):189-200 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) confers an aggressive subtype associated with chemotherapy resistance in epithelial cancers. However, the mechanisms underlying the EMT and its associated signaling dysfunctions are still poorly understood. In two genetic models of MCF-7 breast cancer cells induced to EMT by WISP-2 silencing and Snail transformation, we investigated the status of several signaling elements downstream of G-protein receptors (GPR) and their functional roles in the invasive growth potential. We report that the E-cadherin repressors Slug, Zeb1/2 and Twist are overexpressed in these EMT cells characterized by a triple negative phenotype (loss of estrogen ERα and progesterone PRA/PRB receptors, no HER2 amplification), combined with loss of the alternative GPR30 estrogen receptor and induction of the invasive growth in collagen type I gels. Ectopic Snail expression suppressed WISP-2 transcripts and down-regulated WISP-2 gene promoter expression in transfected cells. Accordingly, WISP-2 transcripts and Wisp-2 protein were depleted in these two convergent models of BC cell EMT. The EMT caused dominance of several proinvasive pathways downstream of GPR, including GαGβγ subunits, PKCα, AKT and c-Jun induction, constitutive activation of the actin-remodeling GTPase Rac1, coupled with growth responses (more cells at S and G2/M phases of the cell cycle), in line with inhibition of the p27kip1/cyclin-dependent kinase CDK3 cascade. RNA interference or selective inhibitors targeting GαGβγ subunits (BIM-46187, gallein), PKCα (Gö6976, MT477, sh-RNAs) and PI3K-AKT (wortmannin) alleviated the invasive phenotype. In contrast, MCF-7 cells in EMT showed signaling independence to inhibitors of HER family tyrosine kinases and the mitogen- and stress-activated protein kinases. Our study suggests that the signaling protagonists GαGβγ, PKCα and PI3K-AKT are promising candidates as predictive molecular biomarkers and therapeutic targets in the management of clinical BC in EMT.
BACKGROUND: The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein has been implicated as a potential oncogene or a cofactor in HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Overactivation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling is a major factor in oncogenesis of HCC. However, the pathogenesis of HCV core-associated Wnt/β-catenin activation remains to be further characterized. Therefore, we attempted to determine whether HCV core protein plays an important role in regulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling in HCC cells.
METHODOLOGY: Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity was investigated in core-expressing hepatoma cells. Protein and gene expression were examined by Western blot, immunofluorescence staining, RT-qPCR, and reporter assay.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: HCV core protein significantly enhances Tcf-dependent transcriptional activity induced by Wnt3A in HCC cell lines. Additionally, core protein increases and stabilizes β-catenin levels in hepatoma cell line Huh7 through inactivation of GSK-3β, which contributes to the up-regulation of downstream target genes, such as c-Myc, cyclin D1, WISP2 and CTGF. Also, core protein increases cell proliferation rate and promotes Wnt3A-induced tumor growth in the xenograft tumor model of human HCC.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: HCV core protein enhances Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity, hence playing an important role in HCV-associated carcinogenesis.
Stiehl DP, Bordoli MR, Abreu-Rodríguez I, et al.Non-canonical HIF-2α function drives autonomous breast cancer cell growth via an AREG-EGFR/ErbB4 autocrine loop.
Oncogene. 2012; 31(18):2283-97 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Tumor progression is intrinsically tied to the clonal selection of tumor cells with acquired phenotypes allowing to cope with a hostile microenvironment. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) master the transcriptional response to local tissue hypoxia, a hallmark of solid tumors. Here, we report significantly longer patient survival in breast cancer with high levels of HIF-2α. Amphiregulin (AREG) and WNT1-inducible signaling pathway protein-2 (WISP2) expression was strongly HIF-2α-dependent and their promoters were particularly responsive to HIF-2α. The endogenous AREG promoter recruited HIF-2α in the absence of a classical HIF-DNA interaction motif, revealing a novel mechanism of gene regulation. Loss of AREG expression in HIF-2α-depleted cells was accompanied by reduced activation of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor family members. Apparently opposing results from patient and in vitro data point to an HIF-2α-dependent auto-stimulatory tumor phenotype that, while promoting EGF signaling in cellular models, increased the survival of diagnosed and treated human patients. Our findings suggest a model where HIF-2α-mediated autocrine growth signaling in breast cancer sustains a state of cellular self-sufficiency, thereby masking unfavorable microenvironmental growth conditions, limiting adverse selection and improving therapy efficacy. Importantly, HIF-2α/AREG/WISP2-expressing tumors were associated with luminal tumor differentiation, indicative of a better response to classical treatments. Shifting the HIF-1/2α balance toward an HIF-2-dominated phenotype could thus offer a novel approach in breast cancer therapy.
Leal LF, Mermejo LM, Ramalho LZ, et al.Wnt/beta-catenin pathway deregulation in childhood adrenocortical tumors.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011; 96(10):3106-14 [PubMed
] Related Publications
CONTEXT: CTNNB1/β-catenin mutations and activation of Wnt/β-catenin pathway are frequent in adult adrenocortical tumors (ACT), but data on childhood ACT are lacking.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to investigate the presence of Wnt/β-catenin pathway abnormalities in childhood ACT.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Clinicopathological findings and outcome of 62 childhood ACT patients were analyzed regarding CTNNB1 mutations and the expression of Wnt-related genes (CTNNB1; WNT4, a Wnt ligand; SFRP1, DKK3, and AXIN1, Wnt inhibitors; TCF7, a transcription factor; and MYC and WISP2, target genes) by quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: CTNNB1-activating mutations were found in only four of 62 ACT (6%), all of them harboring TP53 mutation. There was association between the presence of CTNNB1 mutations and death (P = 0.02). Diffuse β-catenin accumulation was found in 71% of ACT, even in ACT without CTNNB1 mutations. Compared to normal adrenals, ACT presented increased expression of CTNNB1 (P = 0.008) and underexpression of Wnt inhibitor genes: DKK3 (P < 0.0001), SFRP1 (P = 0.05), and AXIN1 (P = 0.04). With regard to Wnt/β-catenin target genes, ACT presented increased expression of WISP2 but lower expression of MYC. Higher overall survival was associated with underexpression of SFRP1 (P = 0.01), WNT4 (P = 0.004), and TCF7 (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: CTNNB1 mutations are not common in childhood ACT but appear to associate with poor prognosis. Nevertheless, most ACT exhibit increased expression of β-catenin and WISP2 and reduced expression of Wnt inhibitor genes (DKK3, SFRP1, and AXIN1). Thus, in addition to CTNNB1 mutations, other genetic events affecting the Wnt/β-catenin pathway may be involved in childhood adrenocortical tumorigenesis.
Guillon-Munos A, Oikonomopoulou K, Michel N, et al.Kallikrein-related peptidase 12 hydrolyzes matricellular proteins of the CCN family and modifies interactions of CCN1 and CCN5 with growth factors.
J Biol Chem. 2011; 286(29):25505-18 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) are an emerging group of secreted serine proteases involved in several physiological and pathological processes. We used a degradomic approach to identify potential substrates of KLK12. MDA-MB-231 cells were treated either with KLK12 or vehicle control, and the proteome of the overlying medium was analyzed by mass spectrometry. CCN1 (cyr61, ctgf, nov) was among the proteins released by the KLK12-treated cells, suggesting that KLK12 might be responsible for the shedding of this protein from the cell surface. Fragmentation of CCN1 by KLK12 was further confirmed in vitro, and the main cleavage site was localized in the hinge region between the first and second half of the recombinant protein. KLK12 can target all six members of the CCN family at different proteolytic sites. Limited proteolysis of CCNs (cyr61, ctgf, nov) was also observed in the presence of other members of the KLK family, such as KLK1, KLK5, and KLK14, whereas KLK6, KLK11, and KLK13 were unable to fragment CCNs. Because KLK12 seems to have a role in angiogenesis, we investigated the relations between KLK12, CCNs, and several factors known to be involved in angiogenesis. Solid phase binding assays showed that fragmentation of CCN1 or CCN5 by KLK12 prevents VEGF(165) binding, whereas it also triggers the release of intact VEGF and BMP2 from the CCN complexes. The KLK12-mediated release of TGF-β1 and FGF-2, either as intact or truncated forms, was found to be concentration-dependent. These findings suggest that KLK12 may indirectly regulate the bioavailability and activity of several growth factors through processing of their CCN binding partners.
CCN5 is a member of the CCN (connective tissue growth factor/cysteine-rich 61/nephroblastoma overexpressed) family and was identified as an estrogen-inducible gene in estrogen receptor-positive cell lines. However, the role of CCN5 in breast carcinogenesis remains unclear. We report here that the CCN5 protein is localized mostly in the cytoplasm and in part in the nucleus of human tumor breast tissue. Using a heterologous transcription assay, we demonstrate that CCN5 can act as a transcriptional repressor presumably through association with histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1). Microarray gene expression analysis showed that CCN5 represses expression of genes associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) as well as expression of key components of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signaling pathway, prominent among them TGF-βRII receptor. We show that CCN5 is recruited to the TGF-βRII promoter, thereby providing a mechanism by which CCN5 restricts transcription of the TGF-βRII gene. Consistent with this finding, CCN5, we found, functions to suppress TGF-β-induced transcriptional responses and invasion that is concomitant with EMT. Thus, our data uncovered CCN5 as a novel transcriptional repressor that plays an important role in regulating tumor progression functioning, at least in part, by inhibiting the expression of genes involved in the TGF-β signaling cascade that is known to promote EMT.
Davies SR, Davies ML, Sanders A, et al.Differential expression of the CCN family member WISP-1, WISP-2 and WISP-3 in human colorectal cancer and the prognostic implications.
Int J Oncol. 2010; 36(5):1129-36 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The WISPs (Wnt-inducted secreted proteins, WISP-1, WISP-2 and WISP-3) are part of the CCN family. These molecules are known to play a diverse role in cells but their role in cancer cells remains controversial. We analysed the expression of the three WISP molecules at the mRNA and protein levels in a cohort of 94 human colorectal tumours and 80 normal colorectal tissues and correlated the results with the pathological features and clinical outcome of the patients. WISP-1 transcripts were found at higher levels in the tumour samples than in the normal tissue (p=0.0015); higher in patients with Dukes stage B and C compared to Dukes A (p=0.017 and p=0.024, respectively); higher in patients with moderately and poorly differentiated cancers compared to the well differentiated cancers (p=0.020 and p=0.076, respectively and p=0.0035 when combined); higher in node positive tumours compared with the node negative (p=0.11) and in the patients with higher TNM staging (TNM 2, 3 and 4 compared to TNM 1 p=0.037). WISP-2 showed the opposite pattern with lower levels of expression in cancer cells compared to normal (p=0.082). Although no significant differences were found within the cancer group when indices of a more aggressive tumour were compared to the normal tissue a significant reduction in expression was found (Dukes C p=0.044, poorly differentiated p=0.019, TNM 3 p=0.020 and node positive disease p=0.048). WISP-3 transcript levels showed no significant differences between groups. WISPs may play important but contrasting roles in colorectal cancer with WISP-1 appearing to act as a factor stimulating aggressiveness, WISP-2 as a tumour suppressor and WISP-3 having no definable beneficial or detrimental role.
Pasmant E, Ortonne N, Rittié L, et al.Differential expression of CCN1/CYR61, CCN3/NOV, CCN4/WISP1, and CCN5/WISP2 in neurofibromatosis type 1 tumorigenesis.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2010; 69(1):60-9 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The hallmark of neurofibromatosis type 1 is the development of dermal and plexiform neurofibromas. Neurofibromatosis type 1 patients with plexiform neurofibromas are at risk of developing malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. We applied a 22,000-oligonucleotide microarray transcriptomic approach to a series of plexiform neurofibromas in comparison with dermal neurofibromas, and results were confirmed with real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Thirteen genes were upregulated and 10 were downregulated in plexiform neurofibromas. The upregulated genes mainly encode molecules involved in cell adhesion, extracellular matrix, fibrogenesis, and angiogenesis. Several CCN gene family members were dysregulated in neurofibromatosis type 1 tumorigenesis; the angiogenic gene CCN1/CYR61 was specifically upregulated in the plexiform neurofibromas; CCN4/WISP1 was upregulated, and CCN3/NOV and CCN5/WISP2 were downregulated in paired comparisons of plexiform neurofibroma and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor from the same patients. CCN1 and CCN3 proteins were detected by immunohistochemistry in neurofibromatosis type 1-associated tumors. Upregulation of S100A8, S100A9, and CD36 was also observed and suggests a role of this pathway in inflammation-associated genesis of plexiform neurofibromas. In summary, a limited number of pathways are potentially involved in plexiform neurofibroma development. Some of the genes identified, particularly CCN1, might be useful diagnostic or prognostic markers or form the basis for novel therapeutic strategies.
Mammary oncogenesis is profoundly influenced by signaling pathways controlled by estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha). Although it is known that ERalpha exerts its oncogenic effect by stimulating the proliferation of many human breast cancers through the activation of target genes, our knowledge of the underlying transcriptional mechanisms remains limited. Our published work has shown that the in vivo activity of LIM homeodomain transcription factors (LIM-HD) is critically regulated by cofactors of LIM-HD proteins (CLIM) and the ubiquitin ligase RING finger LIM domain-interacting protein (RLIM). Here, we identify CLIM and RLIM as novel ERalpha cofactors that colocalize and interact with ERalpha in primary human breast tumors. We show that both cofactors associate with estrogen-responsive promoters and regulate the expression of endogenous ERalpha target genes in breast cancer cells. Surprisingly, our results indicate opposing functions of LIM cofactors for ERalpha and LIM-HDs: whereas CLIM enhances transcriptional activity of LIM-HDs, it inhibits transcriptional activation mediated by ERalpha on most target genes in vivo. In turn, the ubiquitin ligase RLIM inhibits transcriptional activity of LIM-HDs but enhances transcriptional activation of endogenous ERalpha target genes. Results from a human breast cancer tissue microarray of 1,335 patients revealed a highly significant correlation of elevated CLIM levels to ER/progesterone receptor positivity and poor differentiation of tumors. Combined, these results indicate that LIM cofactors CLIM and RLIM regulate the biological activity of ERalpha during the development of human breast cancer.
Banerjee S, Dhar G, Haque I, et al.CCN5/WISP-2 expression in breast adenocarcinoma is associated with less frequent progression of the disease and suppresses the invasive phenotypes of tumor cells.
Cancer Res. 2008; 68(18):7606-12 [PubMed
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Although previous in vitro studies predicted that CCN5/WISP-2 may act as an anti-invasive gene in breast cancer, the distribution pattern of CCN5 in breast cancer samples is conflicting. Thus, we systematically investigated the CCN5 expression profile in noninvasive and invasive breast tumor samples and its functional relevance in breast cancer progression. The studies showed that CCN5 expression is biphasic, such that in normal samples CCN5 expression is undetectable, whereas its expression is markedly increased in noninvasive breast lesions, including atypical ductal hyperplasia and ductal carcinoma in situ. Further, CCN5 mRNA and protein levels are significantly reduced as the cancer progresses from a noninvasive to invasive type. Additionally, we showed that CCN5 mRNA and protein level was almost undetectable in poorly differentiated cancers compared with the moderately or well-differentiated samples and its expression inversely correlated with lymph node positivity. The result was further supported by evaluating the RNA expression profile in microdissected sections using real-time PCR analysis. Therefore, our data suggest a protective function of CCN5 in noninvasive breast tumor cells. This hypothesis was further supported by our in vitro studies illuminating that CCN5 is a negative regulator of migration and invasion of breast cancer cells, and these events could be regulated by CCN5 through the modulation of the expression of genes essential for an invasive front. These include Snail-E-cadherin signaling and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and MMP-2. Collectively, these studies suggest that the protective effect of CCN5 in breast cancer progression may have important therapeutic implications.
The protective effects of iodine on breast cancer have been postulated from epidemiologic evidence and described in animal models. The molecular mechanisms responsible have not been identified but laboratory evidence suggests that iodine may inhibit cancer promotion through modulation of the estrogen pathway. To elucidate the role of iodine in breast cancer, the effect of Lugol's iodine solution (5% I(2), 10% KI) on gene expression was analyzed in the estrogen responsive MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. Microarray analysis identified 29 genes that were up-regulated and 14 genes that were down-regulated in response to iodine/iodide treatment. The altered genes included several involved in hormone metabolism as well as genes involved in the regulation of cell cycle progression, growth and differentiation. Quantitative RT-PCR confirmed the array data demonstrating that iodine/iodide treatment increased the mRNA levels of several genes involved in estrogen metabolism (CYP1A1, CYP1B1, and AKR1C1) while decreasing the levels of the estrogen responsive genes TFF1 and WISP2. This report presents the results of the first gene array profiling of the response of a breast cancer cell line to iodine treatment. In addition to elucidating our understanding of the effects of iodine/iodide on breast cancer, this work suggests that iodine/iodide may be useful as an adjuvant therapy in the pharmacologic manipulation of the estrogen pathway in women with breast cancer.
Dhar G, Banerjee S, Dhar K, et al.Gain of oncogenic function of p53 mutants induces invasive phenotypes in human breast cancer cells by silencing CCN5/WISP-2.
Cancer Res. 2008; 68(12):4580-7 [PubMed
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CCN5/WISP-2 is overexpressed in noninvasive breast cancer cells and tissue samples, whereas its expression is minimal or undetected in invasive conditions. CCN5/WISP-2 has been considered as an antiinvasive gene because CCN5/WISP-2 silencing augments the invasive phenotypes in vitro. However, the mechanism of silencing of CCN5 during the progression of the disease has been elusive. Because p53 mutations are associated with breast cancer progression and have been shown to correlate inversely with CCN5/WISP-2 expression in other cancer cell types, the objective of this study was to explore whether p53 mutants suppress CCN5 expression in breast tumor cells resulting in the progression of this disease. We found CCN5 expression is inversely correlated with the mutational activation of p53 in human breast tumor cells. The ectopic expression of p53 mutants in ER-positive noninvasive breast tumor cells silenced the CCN5/WISP-2 expression and enhanced invasive phenotypes, including the induction of morphologic changes from the epithelial-to-mesenchymal type along with the alterations of hallmark proteins of these cell types and an augmentation of the migration of these cells. The suppression of CCN5 by the p53 mutants can be nullified by estrogen signaling in these cells through the transcriptional activation of the CCN5 gene. Moreover, the invasive changes can be imitated by blocking the CCN5/WISP-2 expression through RNA interference or can be reversed by the addition of CCN5/WISP-2 recombinant protein in the culture. Thus, these studies suggest that CCN5 inactivation could be an essential molecular event for p53 mutant-induced invasive phenotypes.
Davies SR, Watkins G, Mansel RE, Jiang WGDifferential expression and prognostic implications of the CCN family members WISP-1, WISP-2, and WISP-3 in human breast cancer.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2007; 14(6):1909-18 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND: The CCN family has three Wnt-inducted secreted proteins named WISP-1, WISP-2 and WISP-3. These molecules are known to play a diverse role in cells, but their role in cancer cells remains controversial.
METHODS: In this study, we analyzed the expression of the three WISP molecules at the mRNA and protein levels in a cohort of 122 human breast tumors and 32 normal breast tissues, and we correlated these findings with patients' clinical outcomes.
RESULTS: WISP-1 transcripts were found in lower levels in node-positive tumors compared with node-negative tumors (P < .05); were lower in patients with a moderate (P = .01) and poor Nottingham Prognostic Index prognosis (P < .05) compared with good prognostic groups; were of significantly lower level in grade 3 differentiated tumors (P < .05) compared with grade 1; and were of lower levels in patients who developed metastasis and died from breast cancer-related causes (P < .05 in both comparisons). Almost the reverse was found to be true for WISP-2, which had greater levels of expression in node-positive tumors (P = .0043); higher levels in both moderate and poor prognostic groups compared with the good prognostic group (both P < .05); greater level in both grade 2 and 3 when compared with grade 1 (both P < .05); and higher levels in patients who went on to develop metastases (P < .01). WISP-3 transcript levels showed no statistically significant differences between groups.
CONCLUSIONS: WISPs may play important but contrasting roles in breast cancer. WISP-1 seems to act as a tumor suppressor and WISP-2 as a factor that stimulates aggressiveness; WISP-3 has no definable beneficial or detrimental role.
Dhar G, Mehta S, Banerjee S, et al.Loss of WISP-2/CCN5 signaling in human pancreatic cancer: a potential mechanism for epithelial-mesenchymal-transition.
Cancer Lett. 2007; 254(1):63-70 [PubMed
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The objective of this study was to explore the pathophysiological relevance of WISP-2/CCN5 in progression of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC). We found WISP-2/CCN5 mRNA and protein expression was faint and sporadic in PAC and detected in only 8.7-20% of the samples with varying grades as compared to adjacent normal and chronic pancreatitis samples where expression was very high in the ducts and acini. Colocalization studies in tissue-microarray slides revealed WISP-2/CCN5 mRNA loss was associated with p53 overexpression in PAC. Like tissue samples, p53 mutant-PAC cell lines show loss of WISP-2/CCN5. Moreover, functional analysis studies demonstrate exposure of pancreatic cancer cells to WISP-2/CCN5 recombinant protein enhances mesenchymal-epithelial-transition (MET). Collectively, we suggest WISP-2/CCN5 silencing may be a critical event during differentiation and progression of PAC and mutant p53 is possibly an important player in pursuing this episode.
Dhar K, Banerjee S, Dhar G, et al.Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) induces WISP-2/CCN5 via multiple molecular cross-talks and is essential for mitogenic switch by IGF-1 axis in estrogen receptor-positive breast tumor cells.
Cancer Res. 2007; 67(4):1520-6 [PubMed
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Previously, we have shown that the expression of Wnt-1-induced signaling protein-2 (WISP-2), also known as CCN5, can be regulated by multiple stimulants in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast tumor cells to exert their mitogenic action in these cells. Here, we show that insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a strong mitogen, enhanced the expression of the WISP-2/CCN5 gene parallel with the induction of proliferation of ER-positive breast tumor cells. An additive effect was also seen in combination with estrogen. Perturbation of IGF-1-induced WISP-2/CCN5 expression by WISP-2-specific RNA interference impaired the mitogenic action of IGF-1 on ER-positive breast tumor cells. Furthermore, the studies have shown that the multiple molecular cross-talks and side-talks among IGF-1R, ER-alpha, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling molecules are required to induce WISP-2/CCN5 mRNA by IGF-1 in ER-positive, noninvasive breast tumor cells. Because a pure anti-ER ICI 182,780 is not only able to suppress the up-regulation of WISP-2/CCN5 mRNA expression by IGF-1, it also suppresses the PI3K/Akt activity induced by IGF-1 in MCF-7 cells; we anticipate that the membrane ER receptor may participate in this event. Collectively, these studies propose for the first time that WISP-2/CCN5 is an integral signaling molecule in mitogenic action of IGF-1 axis in ER-positive human breast tumor cells.
Fritah A, Redeuilh G, Sabbah MMolecular cloning and characterization of the human WISP-2/CCN5 gene promoter reveal its upregulation by oestrogens.
J Endocrinol. 2006; 191(3):613-24 [PubMed
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Wnt-1-induced signalling pathway protein-2 (WISP-2)/connective tissue growth factor/cysteine-rich 61/nephroblastoma overexpressed (CCN)5 is a member of the CCN family of growth factors and was identified as an oestrogen- inducible gene in the MCF-7 cell line. However, the role of WISP-2/CCN5 in breast carcinogenesis remains unclear. In this study, we examined the mechanism by which oestrogens regulate the expression of human (h) Wnt-1 induced signalling pathway protein (WISP-2)/CCN5. Real-time RT-PCR showed that hWISP-2/CCN5 mRNA transcripts level is upregulated by oestrogens in the oestrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cell lines MCF-7, T47D and ZR-75.1. Cloning of a 1.9 kb fragment of the hWISP-2/CCN5 5'-flanking sequence and subsequent analysis of potential transcription factor-binding sites identified a functional oestrogen response element site located between - 581 and - 569 upstream from the oestrogen-induced transcription start site. Transient transfections of MCF-7 cells with the cloned fragment showed that oestradiol caused an increase in reporter gene activity, which was inhibited by anti-oestrogens ICI 182 780 and 4-hydroxytamoxifen. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed an oestradiol-dependent recruitment of the oestrogen receptor alpha to the oestrogen- responsive region of the hWISP-2/CCN5 gene promoter. We also showed that endogenous CREB-binding protein (CBP) and p21(WAF1/CIP1) are recruited to the chromosomal hWISP-2/CCN5 promoter in MCF-7 cells in an oestrogen-dependent manner, suggesting that CBP and p21(WAF1/CIP1) participate in the oestrogen receptor alpha-mediated transcriptional control of the hWISP-2/CCN5 gene.
Aprelikova O, Wood M, Tackett S, et al.Role of ETS transcription factors in the hypoxia-inducible factor-2 target gene selection.
Cancer Res. 2006; 66(11):5641-7 [PubMed
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Tumor hypoxia often directly correlates with aggressive phenotype, metastasis progression, and resistance to chemotherapy. Two transcription factors [hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha) and HIF-2alpha] are dramatically induced in hypoxic areas and regulate the expression of genes necessary for tumor adaptation to the conditions of low oxygen; however, the relative contribution of these factors is controversial. We used RNA interference-mediated inactivation of HIF-1alpha or HIF-2alpha followed by microarray analysis to identify genes specifically regulated by either HIF-1 or HIF-2 in hypoxia. We found that, in the MCF7 cell line, the vast majority of hypoxia-responsive genes (>80%) were dependent on the presence of HIF-1alpha. However, a small group of genes were preferentially regulated by HIF-2alpha. Promoter analysis for this group of genes revealed that all of them have putative binding sites for ETS family transcription factors, and 10 of 11 HIF-2alpha-dependent genes had at least one potential hypoxia-responsive element (HRE) in proximity to an ETS transcription factor binding site. Knockdown of ELK-1, the most often represented member of ETS family, significantly reduced hypoxic induction of the HIF-2alpha-dependent genes. Physical and functional interaction between ELK-1 and HIF-2alpha were supported by coimmunoprecipitation of these two proteins, luciferase reporter assay using CITED2 promoter, and binding of ELK-1 protein to the promoters of CITED2 and WISP2 genes in proximity to a HRE. These data suggest that the choice of the target genes by HIF-1 or HIF-2 depends on availability and cooperation of HIFs with other factors recognizing their cognate elements in the promoters.
Kouzu Y, Uzawa K, Kato M, et al.WISP-2 expression in human salivary gland tumors.
Int J Mol Med. 2006; 17(4):567-73 [PubMed
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This study was designed to disclose detailed genetic mechanisms in salivary gland tumors (SGTs) for development of novel independent marker. We constructed an in-house cDNA microarray carrying 2,201 cDNA clones derived from SGT and oral squamous cell carcinoma cDNA libraries. Four cell lines that originated from the SGT-derived cell lines were analyzed using this microarray system. The genes identified by our microarray system were further analyzed at the mRNA or protein expression level in other types of human cancer cell lines and clinical samples (ten normal salivary glands [NSGs], eleven pleomorphic adenomas, ten adenoid cystic carcinomas and three adenocarcinomas). Two up-regulated genes and six down-regulated genes were identified in common when compared with the control RNA. Of the up-regulated genes, WISP-2, which plays an important role in breast carcinogenesis, was selected for further analyses. We found a higher expression of the WISP-2 gene in the SGT-derived cell lines compared with other types of human cancer cell lines. Furthermore, WISP-2 mRNA and protein expression levels in NSGs were significantly higher than those in SGTs. These results suggest that WISP-2 could be a reliable independent marker and that down-regulation or loss of the WISP-2 gene may be associated with the development of SGTs.
Banerjee S, Sengupta K, Saxena NK, et al.Epidermal growth factor induces WISP-2/CCN5 expression in estrogen receptor-alpha-positive breast tumor cells through multiple molecular cross-talks.
Mol Cancer Res. 2005; 3(3):151-62 [PubMed
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Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a mitogen for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast tumor cells, and it has been proven that EGF occasionally mimicked estrogen action and cross-talks with ER-alpha to exert its activity. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to explore whether EGF is able to modulate the expression of Wnt-1-induced signaling protein-2/connective tissue growth factor/cysteine-rich 61/nephroblastoma overexpressed 5 (WISP-2/CCN5), an estrogen-responsive gene, in normal and transformed cell lines of the human breast and, if so, whether this induction is critical for EGF mitogenesis and what downstream signaling pathways are associated with this event. Here, we show that EGF-induced WISP-2 expression in ER- and EGF receptor-positive noninvasive MCF-7 breast tumor cells was dose and time dependent and that expression was modulated at transcription level. A synergism was seen in combination with estrogen. Moreover, small interfering RNA-mediated inhibition of WISP-2/CCN5 activity in MCF-7 cells resulted in abrogation of proliferation by EGF. The multiple molecular cross-talks, including the interactions between phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways and two diverse receptors (i.e., ER-alpha and EGFR), were essential in the event of EGF-induced WISP-2/CCN5 up-regulation in MCF-7 cells. Moreover, EGF action on WISP-2/CCN5 is restricted to ER- and EGFR-positive noninvasive breast tumor cells, and this effect of EGF cannot be instigated in ER-alpha-negative and EGFR-positive normal or invasive breast tumor cells by introducing ER-alpha. Finally, regulation of phosphorylation of ER-alpha and EGFR may play critical roles in EGF-induced transcriptional activation of WISP-2 gene in breast tumor cells.
Cervello M, Giannitrapani L, Labbozzetta M, et al.Expression of WISPs and of their novel alternative variants in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004; 1028:432-9 [PubMed
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WISPs (Wnt-induced secreted proteins) are members of the CCN (CTGF/Cyr61/Nov) family involved in fibrotic disorders and tumorigenesis. They have a typical structure composed of four conserved cysteine-rich modular domains, but variants of CCN members lacking one or more modules, generated by alternative splicing or gene mutations, have been described in various pathological conditions. WISP genes were first described as downstream targets of the Wnt signaling pathway, which is frequently altered in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In the present study, WISP mRNA expression was analyzed by RT-PCR in four human HCC cell lines (HepG2, HuH-6, HuH-7, HA22T/VGH). Our results show for the first time that WISP1, WISP1v, and WISP3 are expressed in HCC cell lines. Moreover, we identified two novel variants, generated by alternative splicing of WISP1 and WISP3, respectively, named WISP1 delta ex3-4 and WISP3vL. Overall, our study suggests that WISP transcripts may have a role in the development of HCC, although further studies are necessary to clarify the relative importance of the expression of wild-type WISPs, as well as of their novel variants, in this tumor type.