WNT1

Gene Summary

Gene:WNT1; Wnt family member 1
Aliases: INT1, OI15, BMND16
Location:12q13.12
Summary:The WNT gene family consists of structurally related genes which encode secreted signaling proteins. These proteins have been implicated in oncogenesis and in several developmental processes, including regulation of cell fate and patterning during embryogenesis. This gene is a member of the WNT gene family. It is very conserved in evolution, and the protein encoded by this gene is known to be 98% identical to the mouse Wnt1 protein at the amino acid level. The studies in mouse indicate that the Wnt1 protein functions in the induction of the mesencephalon and cerebellum. This gene was originally considered as a candidate gene for Joubert syndrome, an autosomal recessive disorder with cerebellar hypoplasia as a leading feature. However, further studies suggested that the gene mutations might not have a significant role in Joubert syndrome. This gene is clustered with another family member, WNT10B, in the chromosome 12q13 region. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:proto-oncogene Wnt-1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 10 March, 2017

Ontology:

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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 March 2017 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.

  • Trans-Activators
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway
  • Breast Cancer
  • Transcription Factors
  • Base Sequence
  • Cancer Stem Cells
  • Mutation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Cell Movement
  • Transfection
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Mammary Tumor Virus, Mouse
  • Western Blotting
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Wnt1 Protein
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • CCN Intercellular Signaling Proteins
  • Up-Regulation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cadherins
  • Messenger RNA
  • Signal Transduction
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Spectral Karyotyping
  • Down-Regulation
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • p53 Protein
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Gene Expression
  • Chromosome 12
Tag cloud generated 10 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

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: WNT1 (cancer-related)

Zheng Y, Li X, Jiang Y, et al.
Promoter hypermethylation of Wnt inhibitory factor-1 in patients with lung cancer: A systematic meta-analysis.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(49):e5433 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Promoter hypermethylation of Wnt inhibitory factor-1 (WIF-1)-a tumor suppressor gene-has been detected in several types of human tumors. However, the association between WIF-1 promoter hypermethylation and lung cancer remains to be elucidated. Therefore, we conducted this study to evaluate the clinical significance of WIF-1 promoter hypermethylation in lung cancer.
METHODS: A comprehensive literature search was conducted to obtain eligible studies. The combined odds ratios (ORs) or hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were used to estimate the strength of associations.
RESULTS: A total of 8 eligible publications with 626 cases and 512 controls were included in our study. The combined ORs revealed that WIF-1 promoter hypermethylation was significantly higher in lung cancer than in controls (OR 10.53, P < 0.001). Moreover, WIF-1 promoter hypermethylation was significantly associated with smoking behavior (OR 1.88, P = 0.002). No significant correlation was found between WIF-1 promoter hypermethylation and sex status, age status, tumor stage, and pathological types in cancer. Multivariate analysis results indicated the absence of correlation between WIF-1 promoter hypermethylation and with relapse-free survival and overall survival. Subgroup analysis by sample type demonstrated that promoter hypermethylation of WIF-1 was significantly associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in the tissue (OR 7.89, P < 0.001), blood (OR 21.83, P = 0.034), and pleural effusion subgroups (OR 157.43, P = 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Promoter hypermethylation of WIF-1 may play a crucial role in lung cancer carcinogenesis. It may be a noninvasive biomarker using blood or pleural effusion detection. WIF-1 promoter hypermethylation is correlated with smoking behavior, but not with sex status, age status, tumor stage, pathological types, and the prognosis of lung cancer patients in terms of relapse-free survival and overall survival. More investigations, including a larger number of subjects, are required to further confirm the findings of our analysis.

Chahal MS, Ku HT, Zhang Z, et al.
Differential Expression of Ccn4 and Other Genes Between Metastatic and Non-metastatic EL4 Mouse Lymphoma Cells.
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2016 11-12; 13(6):437-442 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Previous work characterized variants of the EL4 murine lymphoma cell line. Some are non-metastatic, and others metastatic, in syngenic mice. In addition, metastatic EL4 cells were stably transfected with phospholipase D2 (PLD2), which further enhanced metastasis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Microarray analyses of mRNA expression was performed for non-metastatic, metastatic, and PLD2-expressing metastatic EL4 cells.
RESULTS: Many differences were observed between non-metastatic and metastatic cell lines. One of the most striking new findings was up-regulation of mRNA for the matricellular protein WNT1-inducible signaling pathway protein 1 (CCN4) in metastatic cells; increased protein expression was verified by immunoblotting and immunocytochemistry. Other differentially expressed genes included those for reproductive homeobox 5 (Rhox5; increased in metastatic) and cystatin 7 (Cst7; decreased in metastatic). Differences between PLD2-expressing and parental cell lines were limited but included the signaling proteins Ras guanyl releasing protein 1 (RGS18; increased with PLD2) and suppressor of cytokine signaling 2 (SOCS2; decreased with PLD2).
CONCLUSION: The results provide insights into signaling pathways potentially involved in conferring metastatic ability on lymphoma cells.

Ahsani Z, Mohammadi-Yeganeh S, Kia V, et al.
WNT1 Gene from WNT Signaling Pathway Is a Direct Target of miR-122 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2017; 181(3):884-897 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an invasive form of hepatic cancer arising from the accumulation of multiple genetic alterations. In this study, the causal role of disturbed canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway was approved, and some of HCC-driven important gene candidates were determined. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small non-coding RNAs, are the key regulators of important cancer genes, and their participation in tumorigenesis has been shown. By reviewing literature, WNT1 gene with functional significance was selected to approve miRNAs as new subjects for targeted therapy.For proper and fast miRNA detection and also confirmation of the role of bioinformatics in obtaining practical data, we benefited from different bioinformatics tools such as TargetScan, miRanda, and DIANA. In order to use an HCC model, we used HepG2 cell line. Luciferase assay was applied to assess the ability of the selected miRNAs in targeting WNT1 3'-UTR. To overexpress the selected miRNA in HepG2 cell line, viral construct was prepared. Quantitative real-time PCR was performed to evaluate selected miRNA and target gene expression levels. miR-122 was selected according to data concerning various bioinformatics tools.miR-122 was downregulated and WNT1 gene expression was upregulated in HepG2 cell line. After viral construct transduction, miR-122 expression was elevated and WNT1 expression was notably declined. Finally, we introduced WNT1 gene as one of the important genes in HCC, and also, we showed that miR-122 can regulate WNT1 gene expression.Moreover, our study determines the potential of bioinformatics analyses in providing accurate and reliable data for miRNA: messenger RNA (mRNA) prediction.

Chiang KC, Hsu SY, Lin SJ, et al.
PTEN Insufficiency Increases Breast Cancer Cell Metastasis In Vitro and In Vivo in a Xenograft Zebrafish Model.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(8):3997-4005 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) insufficiency is commonly found in breast cancer patients with metastasis. We investigated the mechanisms by which PTEN affects breast cancer metastatic behavior.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Migration and invasion assay, western blot, immunofluorescent staining and zebrafish animal model were applied.
RESULTS: We showed that PTEN insufficiency induced an increase in MCF-7 cell migration and invasion through induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which was triggered by up-regulation of the EMT-inducing transcriptional factors Zeb1, Zeb2, Snail, Slug and Twist. Simultaneously, E-cadherin expression was inhibited and P-cadherin was up-regulated. Further, WNT1 inducible signaling pathway protein 1 (WISP1) and lipocalin-2 (LCN2) expressions were increased after PTEN knockdown in MCF-7 cells, which also exhibited increased filamentous actin (F-actin) synthesis and extracellular matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 expression. We further showed that PTEN knockdown in MCF-7 cells could increase cell migration in the xenograft zebrafish model.
CONCLUSION: Our findings reveal new therapeutic targets for breast cancer patients with PTEN insufficiency.

Halifu Y, Liang JQ, Zeng XW, et al.
Wnt1 and SFRP1 as potential prognostic factors and therapeutic targets in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
Genet Mol Res. 2016; 15(2) [PubMed] Related Publications
The Wnt signaling pathway plays a key role in insurgence and progression of many different forms of cancer. Some crucial components of the Wnt pathway have been proposed to be novel targets for cancer therapy. To date, the Wnt signaling pathway has not been studied in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC). This study was designed to investigate the expression of Wnt1 and SFRP1 from the Wnt pathway in CSCC. Tissue samples were obtained from 35 patients with CSCC and 30 controls admitted to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region People's Hospital at Urumchi City, China. Gene and protein expressions of Wnt1 and SFRP1 were quantified by immunohistochemistry and western blotting. Wnt1 expression was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in CSCC samples than in normal skin cells of the control subjects; in contrast, SFRP1 expression was significantly lower in CSCC tissues than that in tissues of control subjects (P < 0.05). Moreover, Wnt1 expression (P < 0.05) was found to be correlated with histopathological differentiation in CSCC, and negatively correlated with SFRP1 expression in CSCC (rs = -0.473, P = 0.015). Therefore, we concluded that Wnt1 and SFRP1 play important roles in the development of CSCC and could be potent markers for diagnosis, prevention, and therapy of CSCC.

Ma X, Yan W, Dai Z, et al.
Baicalein suppresses metastasis of breast cancer cells by inhibiting EMT via downregulation of SATB1 and Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Drug Des Devel Ther. 2016; 10:1419-41 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The flavonoid baicalein, a historically used Chinese herbal medicine, shows a wide range of biological and pharmaceutical effects, among which its potent antitumor activity has raised great interest in recent years. However, the molecular mechanism involved in the antimetastatic effect of baicalein remains poorly understood. This study aimed to verify the inhibitory effects of baicalein on metastasis of MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo, as well as to investigate the related mechanisms.
METHODS: MTT assay was used to examine the inhibition of baicalein on proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells. Wound healing assay and the in vitro invasion assay was carried out to investigate the effects of baicalein on migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells, respectively. In order to explore the effects of baicalein on tumor metastasis in vivo, xenograft nude mouse model of MDA-MB-231 cells was established. Animals were randomly divided into four groups (control, therapy group, and low-dose and high-dose prevention group, n=6), and treated with baicalein as designed. Following sacrifice, their lungs and livers were collected to examine the presence of metastases. qRT-PCR and Western blot were performed to study the effects of baicalein on expression of SATB1, EMT-related molecules, and Wnt/β-catenin signaling components of MDA-MB-231 cells as well as the metastatic tissue. Effects of baicalein on the expression of target proteins in vivo were also analyzed by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Our results indicated that baicalein suppressed proliferation, migration, and invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Based on assays carried out in xenograft nude mouse model, we found that baicalein inhibited tumor metastasis in vivo. Furthermore, baicalein significantly decreased the expression of SATB1 in MDA-MB-231 cells. It suppressed the expression of vimentin and SNAIL while enhancing the expression of E-cadherin. Baicalein also downregulated the expression of Wnt1 and β-catenin proteins and transcription level of Wnt/β-catenin-targeted genes.
CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that baicalein has the potential to suppress breast cancer metastasis, possibly by inhibition of EMT, which may be attributed to downregulation of both SATB1 and the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Taken together, baicalein may serve as a promising drug for metastasis treatment of breast cancer.

Nakamoto M, Hisaoka M
Clinicopathological Implications of Wingless/int1 (WNT) Signaling Pathway in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma.
J UOEH. 2016; 38(1):1-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer is still one of the most lethal malignancies in the world, and a more thorough understanding of its detailed pathogenetic mechanisms and the development of more effective therapeutic strategies are urgently required. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), the most common type of pancreatic cancer, is characterized by consistent genetic abnormalities such as point mutations in the Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) and in the tumor suppressor protein p53 (TP53) genes. Alterations in intracellular core signal pathways have also been shown to induce the development or progression of PDA. The Wingless/int1 (WNT) signal pathway plays a pivotal role in embryonic development, cellular proliferation and differentiation, and dysregulation of WNT signaling can lead to neoplastic transformation in a variety of organ systems, including the pancreas. Recent studies have shown that altered WNT signaling is associated with a poor prognosis in patients with PDA, suggesting that the pathway is a predictor of patients' survival and a potential therapeutic target of PDA. In this review, the clinicopathological implications of WNT signaling in PDA are highlighted.

Lin CC, Chen PC, Lein MY, et al.
WISP-1 promotes VEGF-C-dependent lymphangiogenesis by inhibiting miR-300 in human oral squamous cell carcinoma cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(9):9993-10005 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), which accounts for nearly 90% of head and neck cancers, is characterized by a poor prognosis and a low survival rate. Vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) has been implicated in lymphangiogenesis and is correlated with cancer metastasis. WNT1-inducible signaling pathway protein-1 (WISP)-1/CCN4 is an extracellular matrix-related protein that belongs to the CCN family and stimulates many biological functions. Our previous studies showed that WISP-1 plays an important role in OSCC migration and angiogenesis. However, the effect of WISP-1 on VEGF-C regulation and lymphangiogenesis in OSCC is poorly understood. Here, we showed a correlation between WISP-1 and VEGF-C in tissue specimens from patients with OSCC. To examine the lymphangiogenic effect of WISP-1, we used human lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) to mimic lymphatic vessel formation. The results showed that conditioned media from WISP-1-treated OSCC cells promoted tube formation and cell migration in LECs. We also found that WISP-1-induced VEGF-C is mediated via the integrin αvβ3/integrin-linked kinase (ILK)/Akt signaling pathway. In addition, the expression of microRNA-300 (miR-300) was inhibited by WISP-1 via the integrin αvβ3/ILK/Akt cascade. Collectively, these results reveal the detailed mechanism by which WISP-1 promotes lymphangiogenesis via upregulation of VEGF-C expression in OSCC. Therefore, WISP-1 could serve as therapeutic target to prevent metastasis and lymphangiogenesis in OSCC.

Jiang Q, He M, Ma MT, et al.
MicroRNA-148a inhibits breast cancer migration and invasion by directly targeting WNT-1.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(3):1425-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway influences embryonic development, cell polarity and adhesion, apoptosis and tumorigenesis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) function as important regulators of the tumorigenesis and metastasis. In the present study, we aimed to find novel targets and mechanisms of microRNA-148a (miR-148a) in regulating the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. In the present study, miR-148a was found downregulated in human breast cancer tissues and cell lines. The ectopic miR-148a expression inhibited the migration and invasion of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that WNT-1, one of the ligands of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, was a direct target of miR-148a. The overexpression of miR-148a reduced the mRNA and protein expression levels of WNT-1, also decreased the expression levels of the key components of Wnt/β-catenin pathway, including β-catenin, metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7) and T-cell factor-4 (TCF-4) in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. In addition, the data showed that the expression of WNT-1 was significantly higher in human breast cancer tissues compared with the adjacent normal tissues and the expression of miR-148a was negatively correlated with the WNT-1 expression in human breast cancer tissues. Taken together, our results suggest that miR-148a can suppress the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells by targeting WNT-1 and inhibiting Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and this will provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of breast cancer metastasis.

van Beuge MM, Ten Dam EJ, Werker PM, Bank RA
Wnt pathway in Dupuytren disease: connecting profibrotic signals.
Transl Res. 2015; 166(6):762-771.e3 [PubMed] Related Publications
A role of Wnt signaling in Dupuytren disease, a fibroproliferative disease of the hand and fingers, has not been fully elucidated. We examined a large set of Wnt pathway components and signaling targets and found significant dysregulation of 41 Wnt-related genes in tissue from the Dupuytren nodules compared with patient-matched control tissue. A large proportion of genes coding for Wnt proteins themselves was downregulated. However, both canonical Wnt targets and components of the noncanonical signaling pathway were upregulated. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that protein expression of Wnt1-inducible secreted protein 1 (WISP1), a known Wnt target, was increased in nodules compared with control tissue, but knockdown of WISP1 using small interfering RNA (siRNA) in the Dupuytren myofibroblasts did not confirm a functional role. The protein expression of noncanonical pathway components Wnt5A and VANGL2 as well as noncanonical coreceptors Ror2 and Ryk was increased in nodules. On the contrary, the strongest downregulated genes in this study were 4 antagonists of Wnt signaling (DKK1, FRZB, SFRP1, and WIF1). Downregulation of these genes in the Dupuytren tissue was mimicked in vitro by treating normal fibroblasts with transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), suggesting cross talk between different profibrotic pathways. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated knockdown of these antagonists in normal fibroblasts led to increased nuclear translocation of Wnt target β-catenin in response to TGF-β1 treatment. In conclusion, we have shown extensive dysregulation of Wnt signaling in affected tissue from Dupuytren disease patients. Components of both the canonical and the noncanonical pathways are upregulated, whereas endogenous antagonists are downregulated, possibly via interaction with other profibrotic pathways.

Lamb R, Bonuccelli G, Ozsvári B, et al.
Mitochondrial mass, a new metabolic biomarker for stem-like cancer cells: Understanding WNT/FGF-driven anabolic signaling.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(31):30453-71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Here, we developed an isogenic cell model of "stemness" to facilitate protein biomarker discovery in breast cancer. For this purpose, we used knowledge gained previously from the study of the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV). MMTV initiates mammary tumorigenesis in mice by promoter insertion adjacent to two main integration sites, namely Int-1 (Wnt1) and Int-2 (Fgf3), which ultimately activates Wnt/β-catenin signaling, driving the propagation of mammary cancer stem cells (CSCs). Thus, to develop a humanized model of MMTV signaling, we over-expressed WNT1 and FGF3 in MCF7 cells, an ER(+) human breast cancer cell line. We then validated that MCF7 cells over-expressing both WNT1 and FGF3 show a 3.5-fold increase in mammosphere formation, and that conditioned media from these cells is also sufficient to promote stem cell activity in untransfected parental MCF7 and T47D cells, as WNT1 and FGF3 are secreted factors. Proteomic analysis of this model system revealed the induction of i) EMT markers, ii) mitochondrial proteins, iii) glycolytic enzymes and iv) protein synthesis machinery, consistent with an anabolic CSC phenotype. MitoTracker staining validated the expected WNT1/FGF3-induced increase in mitochondrial mass and activity, which presumably reflects increased mitochondrial biogenesis. Importantly, many of the proteins that were up-regulated by WNT/FGF-signaling in MCF7 cells, were also transcriptionally over-expressed in human breast cancer cells in vivo, based on the bioinformatic analysis of public gene expression datasets of laser-captured patient samples. As such, this isogenic cell model should accelerate the discovery of new biomarkers to predict clinical outcome in breast cancer, facilitating the development of personalized medicine.Finally, we used mitochondrial mass as a surrogate marker for increased mitochondrial biogenesis in untransfected MCF7 cells. As predicted, metabolic fractionation of parental MCF7 cells, via MitoTracker staining, indicated that high mitochondrial mass is a new metabolic biomarker for the enrichment of anabolic CSCs, as functionally assessed by mammosphere-forming activity. This observation has broad implications for understanding the role of mitochondrial biogenesis in the propagation of stem-like cancer cells. Technically, this general metabolic approach could be applied to any cancer type, to identify and target the mitochondrial-rich CSC population.The implications of our work for understanding the role of mitochondrial metabolism in viral oncogenesis driven by random promoter insertions are also discussed, in the context of MMTV and ALV infections.

Wang R, Geng N, Zhou Y, et al.
Aberrant Wnt-1/beta-catenin signaling and WIF-1 deficiency are important events which promote tumor cell invasion and metastasis in salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma.
Biomed Mater Eng. 2015; 26 Suppl 1:S2145-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study investigates whether Wnt components play a role in carcinogenesis, or the invasion and metastasis of salivary glands, also referred to as adenoid cystic carcinoma (sAdCC). Several sAdCC cell lines with low invasive potential (ACC-2), high metastatic potential (ACC-M), and higher invasive potential (T-ACC-M) were examined to determine whether Wnt components correlate with tumors' invasive and metastatic behavior. Immunohistochemistry was performed in a sAdCC tissue array. ACC-M expressed higher levels of Wnt-1, beta-catenin and lower WIF-1 compared to ACC-2 (P<0.05). T-ACC-M exhibited increased mRNA of Wnt-1 and beta-catenin, and decreased WIF-1 compared to ACC-2 and ACC-M. Immuno-histochemistry showed up-regulation of Wnt-1 and down-regulation of WIF-1 in sAdCC compared with normal salivary glands. Beta-catenin was found in the cytoplasm and nuclei of sAdCC. Dislocation of E-cadherin in sAdCC was observed. These results suggest that sAdCC exhibits diverse expressions of Wnt components. It has an important relationship with the invasive phenotype of these cells.

Shang H, Braggio D, Lee YJ, et al.
Targeting the Notch pathway: A potential therapeutic approach for desmoid tumors.
Cancer. 2015; 121(22):4088-96 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Desmoid tumors (DTs) are rare mesenchymal lesions that can recur repeatedly. When it is feasible, DTs are surgically resected; however, this often results in high recurrence rates. Recently, treatment with PF-03084014, a potent γ-secretase inhibitor, has been shown to have antitumor activity in several tumor types by affecting the WNT/β-catenin pathway. Consequently, Notch pathway inhibition by PF-03084014 might be a promising approach for DT treatment.
METHODS: The expression of Notch pathway components was analyzed in DT tissues and cell strains with immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, respectively. A panel of DT cell strains was exposed to PF-03084014 and evaluated for cell proliferation. Antitumor effects were assessed via cell cycle, apoptosis, and migration and invasion analysis. Cells treated with PF-03084014 were characterized with a gene array analysis combined with Ingenuity Pathway Analysis.
RESULTS: The results showed that Notch pathway components were expressed at different levels in DTs. Hes1 (Hes Family BHLH Transcription Factor 1) was overexpressed in DT tumors versus dermal scar tissue, and PF-03084014 caused significant decreases in Notch intracellular domain and Hes1 expression in DT cell strains. PF-03084014 decreased DT cell migration and invasion and also caused cell growth inhibition in DT cell strains, most likely through cell cycle arrest. Gene array analysis combined with Ingenuity Pathway Analysis showed that Wnt1-inducible signaling pathway protein 2 possibly regulated Notch and WNT pathways after treatment with PF-03084014 through integrin.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that the Notch pathway is an important DT therapeutic target. Furthermore, PF-03084014 has significant antitumor activity against DTs, and it may be an alternative strategy for DT treatment.

Wang R, Zheng J, Zhang DS, et al.
Wnt1-induced MAFK expression promotes osteosarcoma cell proliferation.
Genet Mol Res. 2015; 14(3):7315-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Osteosarcoma is one of the most common primary bone tumors in children and young adults. In this study, we investigated the role of musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene homolog K (MAFK) in osteosarcoma cell proliferation in vitro and the possible pathways that contributed to MAFK-related osteosarcoma development. We first reported that MAFK was expressed at low levels in an osteosarcoma cell line. Furthermore, a significant correlation between MAFK and the Wnt signaling pathway was observed in osteosarcoma by using a gene microarray assay. We found that expression of MAFK could be induced by Wnt1 in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, Wnt1-induced MAFK expression caused a significant increase of cell viability, whereas a Wnt pathway inhibitor, IWR-1-endo, abolished Wnt1-induced effects on MAFK. Finally, cell cycle analysis showed that enhanced cell proliferation might be attributed to re-distribution of the cell cycle. Together, our results suggested that Wnt1-induced MAFK expression promoted cell proliferation in MG63 cells, and that the role of MAFK in osteosarcoma might be closely linked to the Wnt signaling pathway.

Avtanski DB, Nagalingam A, Kuppusamy P, et al.
Honokiol abrogates leptin-induced tumor progression by inhibiting Wnt1-MTA1-β-catenin signaling axis in a microRNA-34a dependent manner.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(18):16396-410 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Obesity greatly influences risk, progression and prognosis of breast cancer. As molecular effects of obesity are largely mediated by adipocytokine leptin, finding effective novel strategies to antagonize neoplastic effects of leptin is desirable to disrupt obesity-cancer axis. Present study is designed to test the efficacy of honokiol (HNK), a bioactive polyphenol from Magnolia grandiflora, against oncogenic actions of leptin and systematically elucidate the underlying mechanisms. Our results show that HNK significantly inhibits leptin-induced breast-cancer cell-growth, invasion, migration and leptin-induced breast-tumor-xenograft growth. Using a phospho-kinase screening array, we discover that HNK inhibits phosphorylation and activation of key molecules of leptin-signaling-network. Specifically, HNK inhibits leptin-induced Wnt1-MTA1-β-catenin signaling in vitro and in vivo. Finally, an integral role of miR-34a in HNK-mediated inhibition of Wnt1-MTA1-β-catenin axis was discovered. HNK inhibits Stat3 phosphorylation, abrogates its recruitment to miR-34a promoter and this release of repressor-Stat3 results in miR-34a activation leading to Wnt1-MTA1-β-catenin inhibition. Accordingly, HNK treatment inhibited breast tumor growth in diet-induced-obese mouse model (exhibiting high leptin levels) in a manner associated with activation of miR-34a and inhibition of MTA1-β-catenin. These data provide first in vitro and in vivo evidence for the leptin-antagonist potential of HNK revealing a crosstalk between HNK and miR34a and Wnt1-MTA1-β-catenin axis.

Cheng Y, Phoon YP, Jin X, et al.
Wnt-C59 arrests stemness and suppresses growth of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in mice by inhibiting the Wnt pathway in the tumor microenvironment.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(16):14428-39 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Wnt/β-catenin signaling is responsible for the generation of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in many human tumors, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Recent studies demonstrate that Wnt or PORCN inhibitor, Wnt-C59, inhibits tumor growth in MMTV-WNT1 transgenic mice. The effect of Wnt-C59 in human tumors is not clear. In this study, the NPC cell lines investigated manifest heterogeneous responses to Wnt-C59 treatment. Wnt-C59 decreased tumor growth of SUNE1 cells in mice immediately following the administration of Wnt-C59. Mice injected with HNE1 cells did not develop visible tumors after the treatment of Wnt-C59, while control mice developed 100% tumors. Wnt-C59 inhibited stemness properties of NPC cells in a dosage-dependent manner by arresting sphere formation in both HNE1 and SUNE1 cells. Thus, Wnt-C59 has the potential to eradicate CSCs in human tumors. Active β-catenin and Axin2 proteins were strongly expressed in stromal cells surrounding growing tumors, confirming the importance of Wnt signaling activities in the microenvironment being driving forces for cell growth. These novel findings confirm the ability of Wnt-C59 to suppress Wnt-driven undifferentiated cell growth in NPC. Both anti-Wnt signaling and anti-CSC approaches are feasible strategies in cancer therapy.

Gurbuz I, Chiquet-Ehrismann R
CCN4/WISP1 (WNT1 inducible signaling pathway protein 1): a focus on its role in cancer.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2015; 62:142-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The matricellular protein WISP1 is a member of the CCN protein family. It is induced by WNT1 and is a downstream target of β-catenin. WISP1 is expressed during embryonic development, wound healing and tissue repair. Aberrant WISP1 expression is associated with various pathologies including osteoarthritis, fibrosis and cancer. Its role in tumor progression and clinical outcome makes WISP1 an emerging candidate for the detection and treatment of tumors.

Chiang KC, Yeh CN, Chung LC, et al.
WNT-1 inducible signaling pathway protein-1 enhances growth and tumorigenesis in human breast cancer.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:8686 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
WNT1 inducible signaling pathway protein 1 (WISP1) plays a key role in many cellular functions in a highly tissue-specific manner; however the role of WISP1 in breast cancer is still poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that WISP1 acts as an oncogene in human breast cancer. We demonstrated that human breast cancer tissues had higher WISP1 mRNA expression than normal breast tissues and that treatment of recombinant WISP1 enhanced breast cancer cell proliferation. Further, ectopic expression of WISP1 increased the growth of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. WISP1 transfection also induced epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT) in MCF-7 cells, leading to higher migration and invasion. During this EMT-inducing process, E-cadherin was repressed and N-cadherin, snail, and β-catenin were upregulated. Filamentous actin (F-actin) remodeling and polarization were also observed after WISP1 transfection into MCF-7 cells. Moreover, forced overexpression of WISP1 blocked the expression of NDRG1, a breast cancer tumor suppressor gene. Our study provides novel evidence that WISP1-modulated NDRG1 gene expression is dependent on a DNA fragment (-128 to +46) located within the human NDRG1 promoter. Thus, we concluded that WISP1 is a human breast cancer oncogene and is a potential therapeutic target.

Samadani AA, Akhavan-Niaki H
Interaction of sonic hedgehog (SHH) pathway with cancer stem cell genes in gastric cancer.
Med Oncol. 2015; 32(3):48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer may appear by frequent genetic or epigenetic changes in oncogenes, tumor suppressor or DNA mismatch repair genes. Molecular studies show the possibility of involvement of certain cancer pathways in gastric cancer. In this respect, DNA methylation is one of the most important epigenetic alterations in gastric cancer and identifying the signaling mechanism and also methylation of some genes that are involved in gastric cancer can help to improve treatment strategies. Relatively, there are many reported methylation alteration of genes in stem cells in all kinds of tumors with some of these genes having a key role in tumor development. Correspondingly, KLF5, CDX1/2, WNT1 and FEM1A are considerable genes in gastric cancer, although many researches and studies have illustrated that sonic hedgehog and expression of its signaling cascade proteins are related in gastric cancer. Relatively, modification in these genes causes many eclectic cancers such as rhabdomyosarcoma and diverse kinds of digestive system tumor development. Conspicuously, these master genes have a noticeable role in stem cell's growth regulation as well as other kinds of cancer such as breast cancer and leukemia. Hence, we concluded that research and studies on methylation and expression of these genes and also the investigation of molecular signaling in gastric cancer can acquire impressive conclusions in order to control and treat this common place and serious problem.

Zhang JG, Shi Y, Hong DF, et al.
MiR-148b suppresses cell proliferation and invasion in hepatocellular carcinoma by targeting WNT1/β-catenin pathway.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:8087 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Accumulating evidences indicate that microRNAs play a vital role in regulating tumor progression. However, the roles of miR-148b in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are still largely unknown. In this study, our data showed that miR-148b was significantly downregulated in 40 pairs of human HCC tissues. Further, the deregulated miR-148b was significantly correlated with larger tumor size, more tumor number, metastasis and worse prognosis in HCC. Overexpression of miR-148b inhibited HCC HepG2 cells proliferation and tumorigenicity. Further, miR-148b induced cells apoptosis by activating caspase- 3 and caspase-9, and induced S phase arrest by regulating cyclinD1 and p21, and also inhibited cell invasion. Data from the dual-luciferase reporter gene assay showed that WNT1 was a direct target of miR-148b, and overexpressed WNT1 inversely correlated with miR-148b levels in HCC tissues. Silencing of WNT1 inhibited the growth of HCC cells, and also induced cells apoptosis and inhibited invasion, which is consistent with the effects of miR-148b overexpression. MiR-148b downregulated expression of WNT1, β-catenin and C-myc, while upregulated E-cadherin expression. We conclude that the frequently downregulated miR-148b can regulate WNT1/β-catenin signalling pathway and function as a tumor suppressor in HCC. These findings suggest that miR-148b may serve as a novel therapeutic target for HCC.

Qian C, Liu F, Ye B, et al.
Notch4 promotes gastric cancer growth through activation of Wnt1/β-catenin signaling.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2015; 401(1-2):165-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common cancers and lethal malignancies in the world. Discovering novel biomarkers that correlate with GC may provide opportunities to reduce the severity of GC. As one of Notch receptor family members in mammals, Notch4 plays an important role in carcinogenesis of several tumors. However, the precise function and mechanism of Notch4 in GC remain undefined. To address this question, we investigated whether Notch4 could be involved in GC progression. We found that Notch4 was activated by overexpressing exogenous intracellular domain of Notch4 (ICN4), and Notch4 activation promoted GC growth in vitro and in vivo, while Notch4 inhibition using ICN4 siRNA had opposite effects. In addition, Notch4 activation induced expression and activation of Wnt1, β-catenin and downstream target genes, c-Myc and cyclin D1, in GC cells, while Notch4 inhibition had opposite effects. Moreover, β-catenin depletion by siRNA attenuated cell proliferation induced by Notch4 activation. Therefore, our results revealed that Notch4 activates Wnt1/β-catenin signaling to regulate GC growth.

Cicchini M, Chakrabarti R, Kongara S, et al.
Autophagy regulator BECN1 suppresses mammary tumorigenesis driven by WNT1 activation and following parity.
Autophagy. 2014; 10(11):2036-52 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Earlier studies reported allelic deletion of the essential autophagy regulator BECN1 in breast cancers implicating BECN1 loss, and likely defective autophagy, in tumorigenesis. Recent studies have questioned the tumor suppressive role of autophagy, as autophagy-related gene (Atg) defects generally suppress tumorigenesis in well-characterized mouse tumor models. We now report that, while it delays or does not alter mammary tumorigenesis driven by Palb2 loss or ERBB2 and PyMT overexpression, monoallelic Becn1 loss promotes mammary tumor development in 2 specific contexts, namely following parity and in association with wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 1 (WNT1) activation. Our studies demonstrate that Becn1 heterozygosity, which results in immature mammary epithelial cell expansion and aberrant TNFRSF11A/TNR11/RANK (tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 11a, NFKB activator) signaling, promotes mammary tumorigenesis in multiparous FVB/N mice and in cooperation with the progenitor cell-transforming WNT1 oncogene. Similar to our Becn1(+/-);MMTV-Wnt1 mouse model, low BECN1 expression and an activated WNT pathway gene signature correlate with the triple-negative subtype, TNFRSF11A axis activation and poor prognosis in human breast cancers. Our results suggest that BECN1 may have nonautophagy-related roles in mammary development, provide insight in the seemingly paradoxical roles of BECN1 in tumorigenesis, and constitute the basis for further studies on the pathophysiology and treatment of clinically aggressive triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs).

Liu X, Giguère V
Inactivation of RARβ inhibits Wnt1-induced mammary tumorigenesis by suppressing epithelial-mesenchymal transitions.
Nucl Recept Signal. 2014; 12:e004 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Retinoic acid receptor β (RARβ) has been proposed to act as a tumor suppressor in breast cancer. In contrast, recent data have shown that RARβ promotes ERBB2-induced mammary gland tumorigenesis through remodeling of the stromal compartment and activation of cancer-associated fibroblasts. However, it is currently unknown whether RARβ oncogenic activity is specific to ERBB2-induced tumors, or whether it influences the initiation and progression of other breast cancer subtypes. Accordingly, we set out to investigate the involvement of RARβ in basal-like breast cancer using mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-wingless-related integration site 1 (Wnt1)-induced mammary gland tumorigenesis as a model system. We found that compared with wild type mice, inactivation of Rarb resulted in a lengthy delay in Wnt1-induced mammary gland tumorigenesis and in a significantly slower tumor growth rate. Ablation of Rarb altered the composition of the stroma, repressed the activation of cancer-associated fibroblasts, and reduced the recruitment of inflammatory cells and angiogenesis. Reduced expression of IGF-1 and activity of its downstream signaling pathway contribute to attenuate EMT in the Rarb-null tumors. Our results show that, in the absence of retinoid signaling via RARβ, reduced IGF-1 signaling results in suppression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and delays tumorigenesis induced by the Wnt1 oncogene. Accordingly, our work reinforces the concept that antagonizing RARβ-dependent retinoid signaling could provide a therapeutic avenue to treat poor outcome breast cancers.

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.

Emelyanov A, Bulavin DV
Wip1 phosphatase in breast cancer.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(34):4429-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Understanding the factors contributing to tumor initiation, progression and evolution is of paramount significance. Among them, wild-type p53-induced phosphatase 1 (Wip1) is emerging as an important oncogene by virtue of its negative control on several key tumor suppressor pathways. Originally discovered as a p53-regulated gene, Wip1 has been subsequently found amplified and more recently mutated in a significant fraction of human cancers including breast tumors. Recent development in the field further uncovered the utility of anti-Wip1-directed therapies in delaying tumor onset or in reducing the tumor burden. Furthermore, Wip1 could be an important factor that contributes to tumor heterogeneity, suggesting that its inhibition may decrease the rate of cancer evolution. These effects depend on several signaling pathways modulated by Wip1 phosphatase in a spatial and temporal manner. In this review we discuss the recent development in understanding how Wip1 contributes to tumorigenesis with its relevance to breast cancer.

Bian L, Wang Y, Liu Q, et al.
Prediction of signaling pathways involved in enterovirus 71 infection by algorithm analysis based on miRNA profiles and their target genes.
Arch Virol. 2015; 160(1):173-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) causes major outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease. Host factors and signaling pathways exhibit important functions in the EV71 life cycle. We conducted algorithm analysis based on miRNA profiles and their target genes to identify the miRNAs and downstream signaling pathways involved in EV71 infection. The miRNA profiles of human rhabdomyosarcoma cells treated with interferon (IFN-)-α or IFN-γ were compared with those of cells infected with EV71. Genes targeted by differentially expressed miRNAs were identified and assigned to different signaling pathways according to public databases. The results showed that host miRNAs specifically responded to the viral infection and IFN treatment. Some miRNAs, including miR-124 and miR-491-3p, were regulated in opposite manners by the IFNs and EV71. Some signaling pathways regulated by both EV71 infection and IFN treatment were also predicted. These pathways included axon guidance, Wingless/Int1 (Wnt) signaling cascade, platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR)/PDGF, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), transforming growth factor-beta receptor (TGF-βR)/TGF-β, SMAD2/3, insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF), bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), CDC42, ERB1, hepatocyte growth factor receptor (c-Met), eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E), protein kinase A (PKA), and IFN-γ pathways. The identified miRNA and downstream signaling pathways would help to elucidate the interaction between the virus and the host. The genomics method using algorithm analysis also provided a new way to investigate the host factors and signaling pathways critical for viral replication.

Alvarez JV, Belka GK, Pan TC, et al.
Oncogene pathway activation in mammary tumors dictates FDG-PET uptake.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(24):7583-98 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increased glucose utilization is a hallmark of human cancer that is used to image tumors clinically. In this widely used application, glucose uptake by tumors is monitored by positron emission tomography of the labeled glucose analogue 2[(18)F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG). Despite its widespread clinical use, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that determine FDG uptake--and that underlie the heterogeneity observed across cancers-remain poorly understood. In this study, we compared FDG uptake in mammary tumors driven by the Akt1, c-MYC, HER2/neu, Wnt1, or H-Ras oncogenes in genetically engineered mice, correlating it to tumor growth, cell proliferation, and expression levels of gene involved in key steps of glycolytic metabolism. We found that FDG uptake by tumors was dictated principally by the driver oncogene and was not independently associated with tumor growth or cellular proliferation. Oncogene downregulation resulted in a rapid decrease in FDG uptake, preceding effects on tumor regression, irrespective of the baseline level of uptake. FDG uptake correlated positively with expression of hexokinase-2 (HK2) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF1α) and associated negatively with PFK-2b expression and p-AMPK. The correlation between HK2 and FDG uptake was independent of all variables tested, including the initiating oncogene, suggesting that HK2 is an independent predictor of FDG uptake. In contrast, expression of Glut1 was correlated with FDG uptake only in tumors driven by Akt or HER2/neu. Together, these results demonstrate that the oncogenic pathway activated within a tumor is a primary determinant of its FDG uptake, mediated by key glycolytic enzymes, and provide a framework to interpret effects on this key parameter in clinical imaging.

Saba NF, Wilson M, Doho G, et al.
Mutation and Transcriptional Profiling of Formalin-Fixed Paraffin Embedded Specimens as Companion Methods to Immunohistochemistry for Determining Therapeutic Targets in Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OPSCC): A Pilot of Proof of Principle.
Head Neck Pathol. 2015; 9(2):223-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The role of molecular methods in the diagnosis of head and neck cancer is rapidly evolving and holds great potential for improving outcomes for all patients who suffer from this diverse group of malignancies . However, there is considerable debate as to the best clinical approaches, particularly for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). The choices of NGS methods such as whole exome, whole genome, whole transcriptomes (RNA-Seq) or multiple gene resequencing panels, each have strengths and weakness based on data quality, the size of the data, the turnaround time for data analysis, and clinical actionability. There have also been a variety of gene expression signatures established from microarray studies that correlate with relapse and response to treatment, but none of these methods have been implemented as standard of care for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). Because many genomic methodologies are still far from the capabilities of most clinical laboratories, we chose to explore the use of a combination of off the shelf targeted mutation analysis and gene expression analysis methods to complement standard anatomical pathology methods. Specifically, we have used the Ion Torrent AmpliSeq cancer panel in combination with the NanoString nCounter Human Cancer Reference Kit on 8 formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) OPSCC tumor specimens, (4) HPV-positive and (4) HPV-negative. Differential expression analysis between HPV-positive and negative groups showed that expression of several genes was highly likely to correlate with HPV status. For example, WNT1, PDGFA and OGG1 were all over-expressed in the positive group. Our results show the utility of these methods with routine FFPE clinical specimens to identify potential therapeutic targets which could be readily applied in a clinical trial setting for clinical laboratories lacking the instrumentation or bioinformatics infrastructure to support comprehensive genomics workflows. To the best of our knowledge, these preliminary experiments are among the earliest to combine both mutational and gene expression profiles using Ion Torrent and NanoString technologies. This reports serves as a proof of principle methodology in OPSCC.

Liu H, Chen Y, Zhou F, et al.
Sox9 regulates hyperexpression of Wnt1 and Fzd1 in human osteosarcoma tissues and cells.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2014; 7(8):4795-805 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary malignant bone tumor that has poor prognosis. Molecular mechanisms underlying disease progression remain largely unknown. Sox9, one of the Sox family transcription factors, is closely associated with the development of a variety of malignant tumors. This study investigates the expression of Sox9, Wnt1 and Fzd1 in human osteosarcoma tissues and cells and the role of Sox9 in the proliferation of human osteosarcoma cells. Immunohistochemical analyses for Sox9, Wnt1, Fzd1, and Ki-67 proteins were performed in human primary osteosarcoma tissues from 48 patients. The small interfering RNA (siRNA) of Sox9 was transfected into human osteosarcoma MG63 cells. At 24 and 48 h after transfection with Sox9 siRNA, the expression of Wnt1 and Fzd1 was analyzed by RT-qPCR, Western blot, and immunofluorescence techniques. Cell proliferation was assayed by CCK-8 method, and Ki-67 protein expression was analyzed by Western blot. Results showed that the expressions of Sox9, Wnt1, Fzd1, and Ki-67 proteins in human osteosarcoma tissues were higher than those in the adjacent non-cancerous tissues. Hyperexpressions of Sox9, Wnt1, Fzd1, and Ki-67 proteins occurred more frequently in human osteosarcoma tissues with an advanced clinical stage (IIb/III). Sox9 siRNA reduced both mRNA and protein expression levels of Wnt1 and Fzd1, which result in the distinct inhibition of MG63 cell proliferation. Our study suggests that Sox9 siRNA inhibits the proliferation capability of human osteosarcoma cells by down-regulating the expression of Wnt1 and its receptor Fzd1, which may provide new gene targets for the clinical treatment of osteosarcoma.

Okuda Y, Nakano K, Suzuki K, et al.
Wnt signaling as a possible promoting factor of cell differentiation in pleomorphic adenomas.
Int J Med Sci. 2014; 11(9):971-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
There are well known that Wnt signaling was some roles of cell differentiation at the development tissues, especially the oral and maxillofacial regions of some developmental stages. Therefore, to determine Wnt signaling in the pleomorphic adenoma tissues, we examined. The expression of Wnt1 and β-catenin as well as the distribution of various cytoskeletal proteins CK7 and CK13 was examined in 30 cases of pleomorphic adenoma by immunohistochemistry. Wnt1 was detected in almost all tumor cells. The peripheral columnar cells in squamous metaplasia and small cuboidal cells in duct-like structures were strongly positive to Wnt1. Although β-catenin was clearly localized on the cell membrane of tumor cells, nuclear translocation was observed in small cuboidal cells and in some basaloid cells. The immunofluorescent staining pattern of Wnt1 and CK7 as well as Wnt1 and CK13 was consistent with IHC results. Thus, in pleomorphic adenoma, Wnt is involved in tumor cell differentiation of peripheral columnar cells forming solid nests and small peripheral columnar cells forming duct-like structures. Moreover, among the three currently known Wnt pathways, β-catenin is the suggested pathway working during cell differentiation. Furthermore, peripheral columnar cells in solid tumor nests and in squamous metaplasia are governed by another Wnt pathway other than β-catenin. Therefore, Wnt signaling through β-catenin pathway may be involved in the 'mixed' differentiation characteristic of pleomorphic adenoma although another pathway may also be possibly working in other parts of the tumor tissue.

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