Research IndicatorsGraph generated 31 August 2019 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 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (5)
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
GEO Profiles, NCBI
Search the gene expression profiles from curated DataSets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository.
Latest Publications: WNT5B (cancer-related)
Asano T, Yamada S, Fuchs BC, et al.Clinical implication of Frizzled 2 expression and its association with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2017; 50(5):1647-1654 [PubMed
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The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an initial, critical step in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumor invasion and metastasis. Frizzled 2 (Fzd2) expression might drive EMT through the non-canonical Wnt pathway, one of the various EMT signaling pathways. The expression of epithelial (E-cadherin) and mesenchymal (vimentin) markers, as well as that of Wnt5b, Stat3, IL-6, Jak2 and Fzd2, were measured in 15 HCC cell lines. The EMT status (vimentin to E-cadherin mRNA expression ratio), Fzd2 mRNA expression, and pSTAT3 protein expression were assessed by immunostaining in 100 HCC patients, and correlations of their expression with clinicopathological factors and prognosis were analyzed. Cell proliferation, migration, and invasiveness were assessed after Fzd2 knockdown. Fzd2 expression was significantly correlated with a mesenchymal phenotype in the HCC cell lines. Treatment of the cell lines with Fzd2 siRNA resulted in significantly reduced migration and invasiveness but did not affect proliferation. A significant correlation was detected between the EMT status and Fzd2 expression in the HCC patients. Multivariate analysis revealed that Fzd2 expression was an independent predictor of recurrence (P=0.034). Patients with high Fzd2 expression had significantly poorer recurrence‑free survival than those with low expression (P=0.03). Finally, pSTAT3 expression was significantly correlated with the EMT and Fzd2 status (P=0.0028, and P=0.0066, respectively). Fzd2 expression induced EMT and enhanced cell migration and invasiveness, and it might be a novel predictor of HCC recurrence. Furthermore, Stat3 might be controlled by both the Wnt5/Fzd2 and IL-6/Jak2 signaling pathways and play an important role in EMT.
The prognosis of patients with gastric cancer (GC) with hematogenous metastasis is dismal. Identification of biomarkers specific for hematogenous metastasis is required to develop personalized treatments that improve patients' outcomes. Global expression profiling of GC tissues with synchronous hepatic metastasis without metastasis to the peritoneal cavity or distant lymph nodes was conducted using next-generation sequencing and identified the G protein-coupled receptor 155 (GPR155) as a candidate biomarker. GPR155 transcription was suppressed in GC cell lines compared with a nontumorigenic cell line. DNA methylation of the GPR155 promoter region was not detected, albeit 20% of GC cell lines harbored copy number loss at GPR155 locus. The expression levels of GPR155 mRNA correlated inversely with those of TWIST1 and WNT5B. Inhibition of GPR155 expression increased the levels of p-ERK1/2 and p-STAT1, significantly increased cell proliferation, and increased the invasiveness of a GC cell lines. GPR155 mRNA levels in GC clinical samples correlated with hematogenous metastasis and recurrence. Multivariate analysis revealed that reduced expression of GPR155 mRNA was an independent predictive marker of hematogenous metastasis. GPR155 may represent a biomarker for diagnosing and predicting hematogenous metastasis of GC.
Zheng X, Fan X, Fu B, et al.EpCAM Inhibition Sensitizes Chemoresistant Leukemia to Immune Surveillance.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(2):482-493 [PubMed
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The lack of effective tumor-associated antigens restricts the development of targeted therapies against myeloid leukemia. In this study, we compared gene expression patterns of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and normal bone marrow samples and found that epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is frequently overexpressed in patients with AML, with EpCAM
Wang SH, Chang JS, Hsiao JR, et al.Tumour cell-derived WNT5B modulates in vitro lymphangiogenesis via induction of partial endothelial-mesenchymal transition of lymphatic endothelial cells.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(11):1503-1515 [PubMed
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Metastasis of the cervical lymph nodes frequently leads to poor survival of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The underlying mechanisms of lymph node metastasis are unclear. Wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 5B (WNT5B), one component of the WNT signal pathway, was markedly up-regulated in OSCC sublines with high potential of lymphatic metastasis compared to that in OSCC cells with low nodal metastasis. Increased WNT5B mRNA was demonstrated in human OSCC tissues in comparison with adjacent non-tumorous tissues. Interestingly, the high level of WNT5B protein in serum was associated with lymph node metastasis in OSCC patients. Knockdown of WNT5B expression in OSCC sublines did not affect tumour growth but impaired lymph node metastasis and tumour lymphangiogenesis of orthotopic transplantation. Conditioned medium from WNT5B knockdown cells reduced the tube formation of lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs). In contrast, recombinant WNT5B enhanced the tube formation, permeability and migration of LECs. In LECs stained with phalloidin, the morphology of those treated with recombinant WNT5B changed from flat to spindle-like. Recombinant WNT5B also increased α-smooth muscle actin and inhibited the expression of vascular endothelial-cadherin but retained characteristics of endothelial cells. The results suggest that WNT5B functions in the partial endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndoMT). Furthermore, WNT5B-induced tube formation was impaired in the LECs following the knockdown of EndoMT-related transcription factor, SNAIL or SLUG. The WNT5B-induced expression of Snail or Slug was abolished by IWR-1-endo and Rac1 inhibitors, which are involved in the WNT/β-catenin and planar cell polarity pathways, respectively. Collectively, the data suggest that WNT5B induces tube formation by regulating the expression of Snail and Slug proteins through activation of canonical and non-canonical WNT signalling pathways.
Knight JM, Kim E, Ivanov I, et al.Comprehensive site-specific whole genome profiling of stromal and epithelial colonic gene signatures in human sigmoid colon and rectal tissue.
Physiol Genomics. 2016; 48(9):651-9 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The strength of associations between various exposures (e.g., diet, tobacco, chemopreventive agents) and colorectal cancer risk may partially depend on the complex interaction between epithelium and stroma across anatomic subsites. Currently, baseline data describing genome-wide coding and long noncoding gene expression profiles in the healthy colon specific to tissue type and location are lacking. Therefore, colonic mucosal biopsies from 10 healthy participants who were enrolled in a clinical study to evaluate effects of lignan supplementation on gut resiliency were used to characterize the site-specific global gene expression signatures associated with stromal vs. epithelial cells in the sigmoid colon and rectum. Using RNA-seq, we demonstrate that tissue type and location patterns of gene expression and upstream regulatory pathways are distinct. For example, consistent with a key role of stroma in the crypt niche, mRNAs associated with immunoregulatory and inflammatory processes (i.e., CXCL14, ANTXR1), smooth muscle contraction (CALD1), proliferation and apoptosis (GLP2R, IGFBP3), and modulation of extracellular matrix (MMP2, COL3A1, MFAP4) were all highly expressed in the stroma. In comparison, HOX genes (HOXA3, HOXD9, HOXD10, HOXD11, and HOXD-AS2, a HOXD cluster antisense RNA 2), and WNT5B expression were also significantly higher in sigmoid colon compared with the rectum. These findings provide strong impetus for considering colorectal tissue subtypes and location in future observational studies and clinical trials designed to evaluate the effects of exposures on colonic health.
Fatty acid synthase (Fasn) is the key metabolic enzyme that accounts for the terminal catalytic step in fatty acid synthesis, which is hyperactivated in various tumors. In this study, we depicted that Fasn expression was elevated in human colorectal cancer (CRC), which accordingly led to lymphatic and distant metastasis and a more advanced clinical phenotype. Genetic perturbations demonstrated that knocking down Fasn inhibited cell migration and invasion both in SW480 and HT29 CRC cell lines. Further mechanical exploration revealed that Fasn knockdown could attenuate Wnt signaling pathway via downregulating distinctive genes, namely Wnt5a, Wnt5b, Fzd2, which at least partly contributed to the decrease in metastasis. Clinical evidence verified a positive correlation between Fasn expression and Wnt signal marker gene expression in a cohort of 43 CRC patients. In conclusion, we shed light on metabolic switches took place during CRC carcinogenesis, among which Fasn is a critical factor and a potential therapeutic target.
Zhang Y, Lin L, Jin Y, et al.Overexpression of WNT5B promotes COLO 205 cell migration and invasion through the JNK signaling pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(1):23-30 [PubMed
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WNT5B is a member of the WNT family that has been reported to be overexpressed in a variety of cancer cell lines and tissues, including colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the potential roles of WNT5B in tumorigenesis have not been reported. In the present study, the WNT5B gene was transfected into CRC cells and generated a COLO 205 cell line with stable overexpression of WNT5B. MTT, wound healing and Transwell assays showed that overexpression of WNT5B significantly increased cell proliferation, migration and invasion capacities of the COLO 205 cells in vitro. Meanwhile, western blotting demonstrated that cells with stable expression of WNT5B showed increased protein expression levels and activities of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2 and MMP 9. In addition, we also observed activation of the WNT/JNK signaling pathway in WNT5B-overexpressing cells. Subsequently, c-jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) was knocked down by RNA interference in the WNT5B-overexpressing COLO 205 cells. Knockdown of JNK significantly reduced the migratory capacity of the COLO 205 cells and decreased protein expression levels and activities of MMP 2 and 9 in vitro. In conclusion, our findings suggest that WNT5B may play an important role in the tumorigenesis of CRC.
Hatta M, Naganuma K, Kato K, Yamazaki J3-Deazaneplanocin A suppresses aggressive phenotype-related gene expression in an oral squamous cell carcinoma cell line.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015 Dec 4-11; 468(1-2):269-73 [PubMed
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In tumor tissues, alterations of gene expression caused by aberrant epigenetic modifications confer phenotypic diversity on malignant cells. Although 3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNep) has been shown to reactivate tumor suppressor genes in several cancer cells, it remains unclear whether DZNep attenuates the malignant phenotypes of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of DZNep on the expression of genes related to aggressive phenotypes, such as epithelial-mesenchymal transition, in OSCC cells. We found that DZNep reduced the cellular levels of polycomb group proteins (EZH2, SUZ12, BMI1, and RING1A) and the associated trimethylation of Lys27 on histone H3 and monoubiquitination of Lys119 on histone H2A in the poorly differentiated OSCC cell line SAS. Immunocytochemical staining demonstrated that DZNep induced the reorganization of filamentous actin and the membrane localization of E-cadherin associated with cell-cell adhesions. We also found an inhibitory effect of DZNep on cell proliferation using a WST assay. Finally, quantitative RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that genes involved in the aggressive phenotypes (TWIST2, EGFR, ACTA2, TGFB1, WNT5B, and APLIN) were down-regulated, whereas epithelial phenotype genes (CDH1, CLDN4, IVL, and TGM1) were up-regulated in SAS cells treated with DZNep. Collectively, our findings suggest that DZNep reverses the aggressive characteristics of OSCC cells through the dynamic regulation of epithelial plasticity via the reprogramming of gene expression patterns.
Janovska P, Poppova L, Plevova K, et al.Autocrine Signaling by Wnt-5a Deregulates Chemotaxis of Leukemic Cells and Predicts Clinical Outcome in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(2):459-69 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: ROR1, a receptor in the noncanonical Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway, is upregulated in malignant B cells of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. It has been shown that the Wnt/PCP pathway drives pathogenesis of CLL, but which factors activate the ROR1 and PCP pathway in CLL cells remains unclear.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: B lymphocytes from the peripheral blood of CLL patients were negatively separated using RosetteSep (StemCell) and gradient density centrifugation. Relative expression of WNT5A, WNT5B, and ROR1 was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR. Protein levels, protein interaction, and downstream signaling were analyzed by immunoprecipitation and Western blotting. Migration capacity of primary CLL cells was analyzed by the Transwell migration assay.
RESULTS: By analyzing the expression in 137 previously untreated CLL patients, we demonstrate that WNT5A and WNT5B genes show dramatically (five orders of magnitude) varying expression in CLL cells. High WNT5A and WNT5B expression strongly associates with unmutated IGHV and shortened time to first treatment. In addition, WNT5A levels associate, independent of IGHV status, with the clinically worst CLL subgroups characterized by dysfunctional p53 and mutated SF3B1. We provide functional evidence that WNT5A-positive primary CLL cells have increased motility and attenuated chemotaxis toward CXCL12 and CCL19 that can be overcome by inhibitors of Wnt/PCP signaling.
CONCLUSIONS: These observations identify Wnt-5a as the crucial regulator of ROR1 activity in CLL and suggest that the autocrine Wnt-5a signaling pathway allows CLL cells to overcome natural microenvironmental regulation.
BACKGROUND: Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) is an aggressive pediatric brain tumor with limited therapeutic options. The hypothesis for this study was that the Wnt pathway triggered by the Wnt5B ligand plays an important role in ATRT biology. To address this hypothesis, the role of WNT5B and other Wnt pathway genes was analyzed in ATRT tissues and ATRT primary cell lines.
METHODS: Transcriptome-sequencing analyses were performed using nanoString platforms, immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR, immunoprecipitation, short interference RNA studies, cell viability studies, and drug dose response (DDR) assays.
RESULTS: Our transcriptome-sequencing results of Wnt pathway genes from ATRT tissues and cell lines indicated that the WNT5B gene is significantly upregulated in ATRT samples compared with nontumor brain samples. These results also indicated a differential expression of both canonical and noncanonical Wnt genes. Imunoprecipitation studies indicated that Wnt5B binds to Frizzled1 and Ryk receptors. Inhibition of WNT5B by short interference RNA decreased the expression of FRIZZLED1 and RYK. Cell viability studies a indicated significant decrease in cell viability by inhibiting Frizzled1 receptor. DDR assays showed promising results with some inhibitors.
CONCLUSIONS: These promising therapeutic options will be studied further before starting a translational clinical trial. The success of these options will improve care for these patients.
AIM: To determine the influence of Adriamycin (ADM) on the changes in Nanog, Oct4, Sox2, as well as, in ARID1 and Wnt5b expression in liver cancer stem cells.
METHODS: The MHCC97-L and HCCLM3 liver cancer cell lines were selected as the cell models in this study, and were routinely cultured. The 50% lethal dose (LD50) in the cell lines was detected by the MTT assay. Expression changes in liver cancer stem cell related genes (Nanog, Oct-4, Sox2, ARID1, and Wnt5b) were detected by western blot following treatment with ADM (LD50).
RESULTS: The LD50 of ADM in MHCC97-L cells was lower than that in HCCLM3 cells (0.4123 ± 0.0236 μmol/L vs 0.5259 ± 0.0125 μmol/L, P < 0.05). Wnt5b and Nanog were expressed in both MHCC97-L and HCCLM3 cells, while only Sox2 was expressed in HCCLM3 cells. However, neither ARID1A nor Oct4 was detected in these two cell lines. Genes, related to the stem cells, showed different expression in liver cancer cells with different metastatic potential following treatment with ADM (LD50). Wnt5b protein increased gradually within 4 h of ADM (LD50) treatment, while Nanog decreased (P < 0.05). After 12 h, Wnt5b decreased gradually, while Nanog increased steadily (P < 0.05). In addition, only Sox2 was expressed in HCCLM3 cells with high metastatic potential following ADM (LD50) treatment. The expression of Sox2 increased gradually with ADM (LD50) in HCCLM3 cells (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: ADM increased the death rate of MHCC97-L and HCCLM3 cells, while the growth suppressive effect of ADM was higher in MHCC97-L cells than in HCCLM3 cells.
BACKGROUND: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) has higher rates of recurrence and distant metastasis, and poorer outcome as compared to non-TNBC. Aberrant activation of WNT signaling has been detected in TNBC, which might be important for triggering oncogenic conversion of breast epithelial cell. Therefore, we directed our focus on identifying the WNT ligand and its underlying mechanism in TNBC cells.
METHODS: We performed large-scale analysis of public microarray data to screen the WNT ligands and the clinical significance of the responsible ligand in TNBC. WNT5B was identified and its overexpression in TNBC was confirmed by immunohistochemistry staining, Western blot and ELISA. ShRNA was used to knockdown WNT5B expression (shWNT5B). Cellular functional alteration with shWNT5B treatment was determined by using wound healing assay, mammosphere assay; while cell cycle and apoptosis were examined by flowcytometry. Mitochondrial morphology was photographed by electron microscope. Biological change of mitochondria was detected by RT-PCR and oxygen consumption assay. Activation of WNT pathway and its downstream targets were evaluated by liciferase assay, immunohistochemistry staining and immunoblot analysis. Statistical methods used in the experiments besides microarray analysis was two-tailed t-test.
RESULTS: WNT5B was elevated both in the tumor and the patients' serum. Suppression of WNT5B remarkably impaired cell growth, migration and mammosphere formation. Additionally, G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and caspase-independent apoptosis was observed. Study of the possible mechanism indicated that these effects occurred through suppression of mitochondrial biogenesis, as evidenced by reduced mitochondrial DNA (MtDNA) and compromised oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). In Vivo and in vitro data uncovered that WNT5B modulated mitochondrial physiology was mediated by MCL1, which was regulated by WNT/β-catenin responsive gene, Myc. Clinic data analysis revealed that both WNT5B and MCL1 are associated with enhanced metastasis and decreased disease-free survival.
CONCLUSIONS: All our findings suggested that WNT5B/MCL1 cascade is critical for TNBC and understanding its regulatory apparatus provided valuable insight into the pathogenesis of the tumor development and the guidance for targeting therapeutics.
Takeshita A, Iwai S, Morita Y, et al.Wnt5b promotes the cell motility essential for metastasis of oral squamous cell carcinoma through active Cdc42 and RhoA.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(1):59-68 [PubMed
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The activation of Wnt signaling has been reported in many types of squamous cell carcinoma. In this study, using human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells with different metastatic potential, we investigated the involvement of Wnt signaling in metastasis. Further, we aimed to elucidate the characteristic biological features related to high metastatic potential and to identify new target molecules for the suppression of OSCC lymph node metastasis. We compared SAS-Venus (SAS OSCC cells expressing green fluorescent protein) and SAS-LM8, which is a highly metastatic cell line derived from SAS-Venus by in vivo selection. The SAS-LM8 cell line had greater ability of migration and invasion compared to SAS-Venus. Furthermore, a higher number of filopodia-like protrusive structures were produced in SAS-LM8 cells compared to SAS-Venus cells, and the levels of active Cdc42 and active RhoA protein were higher in SAS-LM8 cells compared to SAS-Venus cells. We did not observe any differences in the expression of Wnt/β-catenin target genes between the two cell lines; however, the mRNA levels of Wnt5b were higher in SAS-LM8 cells compared to SAS-Venus cells. To confirm the involvement of Wnt5b in migration in OSCC cells, we examined the effects of the siRNA-mediated knockdown of Wnt5b in SAS-Venus cells and SAS-LM8 cells. The siRNA treatment significantly inhibited migration and the formation of filopodia-like protrusive structures. Conversely, when stimulated with Wnt5b, the migration and formation of filopodia-like protrusions were significantly enhanced and the levels of active Cdc42 and active RhoA proteins were also increased. These results indicate that Wnt5b is involved in the migration ability of OSCC cells through active Cdc42 and RhoA.
Cha TL, Chuang MJ, Tang SH, et al.Emodin modulates epigenetic modifications and suppresses bladder carcinoma cell growth.
Mol Carcinog. 2015; 54(3):167-77 [PubMed
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The deregulation of epigenetics was involved in early and subsequent carcinogenic events. Reversing cancer epigenetics to restore a normal epigenetic condition could be a rational approach for cancer treatment and specialized prevention. In the present study, we found that the expression levels of two epigenetic markers, histone H3K27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), was low but histone H3S10 phosphorylation (pH3Ser10) was high in human bladder cancer tissues, which showed opposite expression patterns in their normal counterparts. Thus, we investigated whether a natural product, emodin, has the ability to reverse these two epigenetic modifications and inhibit bladder cancer cell growth. Emodin significantly inhibited the cell growth of four bladder cancer cell lines in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Emodin treatment did not induce specific cell cycle arrest, but it altered epigenetic modifications. Emodin treatment resulted in the suppression of pH3Ser10 and increased H3K27me3, contributing to gene silencing in bladder cancer cells. Microarray analysis demonstrated that oncogenic genes including fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) and fibroblast growth factor binding protein 1 (HBP17), RGS4, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3), WNT5b, URB, and collagen, type VIII, alpha 1 (COL8A1) responsible for proliferation, survival, inflammation, and carcinogenesis were significantly repressed by emodin. The ChIP assays also showed that emodin increased H3K27me3 but decreased pH3Ser10 modifications on the promoters of repressed genes, which indicate that emodin reverses the cancer epigenetics towards normal epigenetic situations. In conclusion, our work demonstrates the significant anti-neoplastic activity of emodin on bladder cancer cells and elucidates the novel mechanisms of emodin-mediated epigenetic modulation of target genes. Our study warrants further investigation of emodin as an effective therapeutic or preventive agent for bladder cancer.
Páez D, Gerger A, Zhang W, et al.Association of common gene variants in the WNT/β-catenin pathway with colon cancer recurrence.
Pharmacogenomics J. 2014; 14(2):142-50 [PubMed
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Wnt/β-catenin signaling has a central role in the development and progression of most colon cancers (CCs). Germline variants in Wnt/β-catenin pathway genes may result in altered gene function and/or activity, thereby causing inter-individual differences in relation to tumor recurrence capacity and chemoresistance. We investigated germline polymorphisms in a comprehensive panel of Wnt/β-catenin pathway genes to predict time to tumor recurrence (TTR) in patients with stage III and high-risk stage II CC. A total of 234 patients treated with 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy were included in this study. Whole-blood samples were analyzed for putative functional germline polymorphisms in SFRP3, SFRP4, DKK2, DKK3, Axin2, APC, TCF7L2, WNT5B, CXXC4, NOTCH2 and GLI1 genes by PCR-based restriction fragment-length polymorphism or direct DNA sequencing. Polymorphisms with statistical significance were validated in an independent study cohort. The minor allele of WNT5B rs2010851 T>G was significantly associated with a shorter TTR (10.7 vs 4.9 years; hazard ratio: 2.48; 95% CI, 0.96-6.38; P=0.04) in high-risk stage II CC patients. This result remained significant in multivariate Cox's regression analysis. This study shows that the WNT5B germline variant rs2010851 was significantly identified as a stage-dependent prognostic marker for CC patients after 5-fluorouracil-based adjuvant therapy.
Siar CH, Nagatsuka H, Han PP, et al.Differential expression of canonical and non-canonical Wnt ligands in ameloblastoma.
J Oral Pathol Med. 2012; 41(4):332-9 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND: Canonical and non-canonical Wnt signaling pathways modulate diverse cellular processes during embryogenesis and post-natally. Their deregulations have been implicated in cancer development and progression. Wnt signaling is essential for odontogenesis. The ameloblastoma is an odontogenic epithelial neoplasm of enamel organ origin. Altered expressions of Wnts-1, -2, -5a, and -10a are detected in this tumor. The activity of other Wnt members remains unclarified.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Canonical (Wnts-1, -2, -3, -8a, -8b, -10a, and -10b), non-canonical (Wnts-4, -5a, -5b, -6, 7a, -7b, and -11), and indeterminate groups (Wnts-2b and -9b) were examined immunohistochemically in 72 cases of ameloblastoma (19 unicystic [UA], 35 solid/multicystic [SMA], eight desmoplastic [DA], and 10 recurrent [RA]).
RESULTS: Canonical Wnt proteins (except Wnt-10b) were heterogeneously expressed in ameloblastoma. Their distribution patterns were distinctive with some overlap. Protein localization was mainly membranous and/or cytoplasmic. Overexpression of Wnt-1 in most subsets (UA = 19/19; SMA = 35/35; DA = 5/8; RA = 7/10) (P < 0.05), Wnt-3 in granular cell variant (n = 3/3), and Wnt-8b in DA (n = 8/8) was key observations. Wnts-8a and -10a demonstrated enhanced expression in tumoral buddings and acanthomatous areas. Non-canonical and indeterminate Wnts were absent except for limited Wnt-7b immunoreactivity in UA (n = 1/19) and SMA (n = 1/35). Stromal components expressed variable Wnt positivity.
CONCLUSION: Differential expression of Wnt ligands in different ameloblastoma subtypes suggests that the canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways are selectively activated or repressed depending on the tumor cell differentiation status. Canonical Wnt pathway is most likely the main transduction pathway while Wnt-1 might be the key signaling molecule involved in ameloblastoma tumorigenesis.
Maschietto M, Trapé AP, Piccoli FS, et al.Temporal blastemal cell gene expression analysis in the kidney reveals new Wnt and related signaling pathway genes to be essential for Wilms' tumor onset.
Cell Death Dis. 2011; 2:e224 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Wilms' tumors (WTs) originate from metanephric blastema cells that are unable to complete differentiation, resulting in triphasic tumors composed of epithelial, stromal and blastemal cells, with the latter harboring molecular characteristics similar to those of the earliest kidney development stages. Precise regulation of Wnt and related signaling pathways has been shown to be crucial for correct kidney differentiation. In this study, the gene expression profile of Wnt and related pathways was assessed in laser-microdissected blastemal cells in WTs and differentiated kidneys, in human and in four temporal kidney differentiation stages (i.e. E15.5, E17.5, P1.5 and P7.5) in mice, using an orthologous cDNA microarray platform. A signaling pathway-based gene signature was shared between cells of WT and of earliest kidney differentiation stages, revealing genes involved in the interruption of blastemal cell differentiation in WT. Reverse transcription-quantitative PCR showed high robustness of the microarray data demonstrating 75 and 56% agreement in the initial and independent sample sets, respectively. The protein expression of CRABP2, IGF2, GRK7, TESK1, HDGF, WNT5B, FZD2 and TIMP3 was characterized in WTs and in a panel of human fetal kidneys displaying remarkable aspects of differentiation, which was recapitulated in the tumor. Taken together, this study reveals new genes candidate for triggering WT onset and for therapeutic treatment targets.
BACKGROUND: Periostin, IFN-induced transmembrane protein 1 (IFITM1) and Wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 5B (Wnt-5b) were previously identified as the invasion promoted genes of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) by comparing the gene expression profiles between parent and a highly invasive clone. We have previously reported that Periostin and IFITM1 promoted the invasion of HNSCC cells. Here we demonstrated that Wnt-5b overexpression promoted the invasion of HNSCC cells. Moreover, stromelysin-2 (matrix metalloproteinase-10; MMP-10) was identified as a common up-regulated gene among Periostin, IFITM1 and Wnt-5b overexpressing HNSCC cells by using microarray data sets. In this study, we investigated the roles of MMP-10 in the invasion of HNSCC.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: We examined the expression of MMP-10 in HNSCC cases by immunohistochemistry. High expression of MMP-10 was frequently observed and was significantly correlated with the invasiveness and metastasis in HNSCC cases. Next, we examined the roles of MMP-10 in the invasion of HNSCC cells in vitro. Ectopic overexpression of MMP-10 promoted the invasion of HNSCC cells, and knockdown of MMP-10 suppressed the invasion of HNSCC cells. Moreover, MMP-10 knockdown suppressed Periostin and Wnt-5b-promoted invasion. Interestingly, MMP-10 overexpression induced the decreased p38 activity and MMP-10 knockdown induced the increased p38 activity. In addition, treatment with a p38 inhibitor SB203580 in HNSCC cells inhibited the invasion.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that MMP-10 plays an important role in the invasion and metastasis of HNSCC, and that invasion driven by MMP-10 is partially associated with p38 MAPK inhibition. We suggest that MMP-10 can be used as a marker for prediction of metastasis in HNSCC.
Klemm F, Bleckmann A, Siam L, et al.β-catenin-independent WNT signaling in basal-like breast cancer and brain metastasis.
Carcinogenesis. 2011; 32(3):434-42 [PubMed
] Related Publications
A role of WNT signaling for primary breast cancers of the basal-like subtype and as a predictor of brain metastasis has been described. However, a responsible WNT ligand has not been identified. To further clarify this question, we comparatively investigated 22 human breast cancer brain metastases as well as the highly invasive human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 and the weakly motile MCF-7 as models for the basal-like and the luminal A subtype. WNT5A and B were found overexpressed in MDA-MB-231 cells as compared with MCF-7. This corresponded to reduction of MDA-MB-231 invasiveness by WNT inhibitors, whereas MCF-7 invasion was enhanced by recombinant WNT5B and abolished by WNT and Jun-N-terminal kinase antagonists. Expression and subcellular distribution of β-catenin remained uninfluenced. Consistently, β-catenin was not localized in the nuclei of brain metastases while there was strong nuclear c-Jun staining. Similar to MDA-MB-231, metastases showed expression of WNT5A/B and the alternative WNT receptors ROR1 and 2. These findings were validated using external gene expression datasets (Gene Expression Omnibus) of different breast cancer subtypes and brain metastases. Hierarchical cluster analysis yielded a close relation between basal-like cancers and brain metastases. Gene set enrichment analyses confirmed WNT pathway enrichment not only in basal-like primaries but also in cerebral metastases of all subtypes. In conclusion, WNT signaling seems highly relevant for basal-like and other subtypes of breast cancers metastasizing into the brain. β-catenin-independent WNT signaling, presumably via ROR1-2, plays a major role in this context.
Malignant astrocytomas are a deadly solid tumor in children. Limited understanding of their underlying genetic basis has contributed to modest progress in developing more effective therapies. In an effort to identify such alterations, we performed a genome-wide search for DNA copy number aberrations (CNA) in a panel of 33 tumors encompassing grade 1 through grade 4 tumors. Genomic amplifications of 10-fold or greater were restricted to grade 3 and 4 astrocytomas and included the MDM4 (1q32), PDGFRA (4q12), MET (7q21), CMYC (8q24), PVT1 (8q24), WNT5B (12p13), and IGF1R (15q26) genes. Homozygous deletions of CDKN2A (9p21), PTEN (10q26), and TP53 (17p3.1) were evident among grade 2 to 4 tumors. BRAF gene rearrangements that were indicated in three tumors prompted the discovery of KIAA1549-BRAF fusion transcripts expressed in 10 of 10 grade 1 astrocytomas and in none of the grade 2 to 4 tumors. In contrast, an oncogenic missense BRAF mutation (BRAF(V600E)) was detected in 7 of 31 grade 2 to 4 tumors but in none of the grade 1 tumors. BRAF(V600E) mutation seems to define a subset of malignant astrocytomas in children, in which there is frequent concomitant homozygous deletion of CDKN2A (five of seven cases). Taken together, these findings highlight BRAF as a frequent mutation target in pediatric astrocytomas, with distinct types of BRAF alteration occurring in grade 1 versus grade 2 to 4 tumors.
Memarian A, Hojjat-Farsangi M, Asgarian-Omran H, et al.Variation in WNT genes expression in different subtypes of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2009; 50(12):2061-70 [PubMed
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The Wnt molecules are a family of secretory glycoproteins implicated in proliferation and differentiation of both normal and malignant cells. Despite extensive investigation of the WNT genes expression profile in various tumors, little is known about their expression in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In this study, the expression profile of 14 WNT genes was investigated in a large number of Iranian patients with CLL. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was performed on peripheral blood leukemic cells obtained from 62 patients with CLL. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from 11 age matched normal subjects served as control to determine baseline expression level of these genes. Our results have demonstrated significant up-regulation of WNT-3, WNT-4, WNT-5B, WNT-7B, WNT-9A, WNT-10A, and WNT-16B in patients with CLL compared to normal subjects (p < 0.05 to p < 0.0001). WNT gene expression analysis in different CLL subtypes showed a similar pattern of expression in progressive and indolent clinical subtypes. Over-expression of WNT-5A and WNT-9A genes was observed in patients with no mutation in their immunoglobulin (Ig) variable region heavy chain (Ig VH) genes compared to those with mutated Ig VH genes. Comparison between patients expressing VH1 (n = 9), VH3 (n = 40) and VH4 (n = 12) gene families, revealed down-regulation of WNT-3 and WNT-9A in VH3 positive patients. Our results indicate up-regulation of many members of the WNT gene family in CLL suggesting involvement of the Wnt canonical and/or noncanonical signaling pathways in CLL tumorigenesis.
BACKGROUND: beta-catenin mutations that constitutively activate the canonical Wnt signaling have been observed in a subset of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). These mutations are associated with chromosomal stability, low histological grade, low tumor invasion and better patient survival. We hypothesized that canonical Wnt signaling is selectively activated in well-differentiated, but repressed in poorly differentiated HCCs. To this aim, we characterized differentiation status of HCC cell lines and compared their expression status of Wnt pathway genes, and explored their activity of canonical Wnt signaling.
RESULTS: We classified human HCC cell lines into "well-differentiated" and "poorly differentiated" subtypes, based on the expression of hepatocyte lineage, epithelial and mesenchymal markers. Poorly differentiated cell lines lost epithelial and hepatocyte lineage markers, and overexpressed mesenchymal markers. Also, they were highly motile and invasive. We compared the expression of 45 Wnt pathway genes between two subtypes. TCF1 and TCF4 factors, and LRP5 and LRP6 co-receptors were ubiquitously expressed. Likewise, six Frizzled receptors, and canonical Wnt3 ligand were expressed in both subtypes. In contrast, canonical ligand Wnt8b and noncanonical ligands Wnt4, Wnt5a, Wnt5b and Wnt7b were expressed selectively in well- and poorly differentiated cell lines, respectively. Canonical Wnt signaling activity, as tested by a TCF reporter assay was detected in 80% of well-differentiated, contrary to 14% of poorly differentiated cell lines. TCF activity generated by ectopic mutant beta-catenin was weak in poorly differentiated SNU449 cell line, suggesting a repressive mechanism. We tested Wnt5a as a candidate antagonist. It strongly inhibited canonical Wnt signaling that is activated by mutant beta-catenin in HCC cell lines.
CONCLUSION: Differential expression of Wnt ligands in HCC cells is associated with selective activation of canonical Wnt signaling in well-differentiated, and its repression in poorly differentiated cell lines. One potential mechanism of repression involved Wnt5a, acting as an antagonist of canonical Wnt signaling. Our observations support the hypothesis that Wnt pathway is selectively activated or repressed depending on differentiation status of HCC cells. We propose that canonical and noncanonical Wnt pathways have complementary roles in HCC, where the canonical signaling contributes to tumor initiation, and noncanonical signaling to tumor progression.
Morioka K, Tanikawa C, Ochi K, et al.Orphan receptor tyrosine kinase ROR2 as a potential therapeutic target for osteosarcoma.
Cancer Sci. 2009; 100(7):1227-33 [PubMed
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Osteosarcoma is the most prevalent bone malignant tumor in children and adolescents, and displays heterogeneous histology and high propensity for distant metastasis. Although adjuvant chemotherapy remarkably improved treatment outcome over the past few decades, prognosis for osteosarcoma patients with pulmonary metastasis is still unsatisfactory. To identify novel therapeutic targets for osteosarcoma, we investigated the gene expression profile of osteosarcomas by cDNA microarray analysis and found transactivation of receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2 (ROR2) expression in the majority of osteosarcoma samples. Treatment of osteosarcoma cell lines with siRNA against ROR2 significantly inhibited cell proliferation and migration. We also identified wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 5B (WNT5B) as a putative ROR2 ligand and that the physiological interaction of WNT5B and ROR2 could enhance cell migration, indicating the possible roles of ROR2 and WNT5B in the metastatic property of osteosarcoma cells. Taken together, our findings revealed that the WNT5B/ROR2 signaling pathway is a promising therapeutic target for osteosarcoma.
Ruebel KH, Leontovich AA, Tanizaki Y, et al.Effects of TGFbeta1 on gene expression in the HP75 human pituitary tumor cell line identified by gene expression profiling.
Endocrine. 2008; 33(1):62-76 [PubMed
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The pathogenesis of pituitary adenomas and many of the genes influencing growth of these tumors are unknown. TGFbeta is known to inhibit proliferation of cultured anterior pituitary cells and anterior pituitary tumors, but the signal transduction pathways involved in the inhibition of growth are unclear. We treated the human HP75 pituitary cell line with 10(-9) M TGFbeta1 for 4, 24, and 96 h and performed global gene expression profiling by Affymetrix GeneChip microarray analysis. Quantitative PCR validation of specific genes involved in the TGFbeta1-induced regulation of pituitary cell growth was also done. Of the 15,000 genes queried, there were 37 genes up-regulated and 48 genes down-regulated twofold or more after 4 h of TGFbeta1 treatment. There were 121 genes up-regulated and 109 genes down-regulated twofold or more after 24 h of TGFbeta1 treatment and 112 genes up-regulated and 43 genes down-regulated twofold or more after 96 h of TGFbeta1 treatment. Galectin-3 (Gal-3) protein was decreased by TGFbeta1 treatment and several genes which interacted with Gal-3 including RUNX1 and WNT5B were up-regulated after TGFbeta1 treatment. SOX4 was also up-regulated by TGFbeta1 treatment. SMAD3, which is directly involved in the TGFbeta signal transduction pathway, was down-regulated by TGFbeta1 treatment. These findings highlight the diverse gene networks and pathways through which TGFbeta operates in its effects on pituitary tumor cells.
Sercan HO, Pehlivan M, Simsek O, et al.Induction of apoptosis increases expression of non-canonical WNT genes in myeloid leukemia cell lines.
Oncol Rep. 2007; 18(6):1563-9 [PubMed
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With the aim of determining the differential expression of WNT and FZD genes, before and after induction of apoptosis in BCR-ABL positive cells, we treated the myeloid cell line K562 and control cell line HL60 with imatinib mesylate and etoposide, and analyzed relative mRNA expression levels of WNT, FZD and sFRP genes under normal and apoptotic conditions by real-time RT-PCR. We observed marked increase in mRNA levels of FZD4, FZD5, FZD7 and WNT5b, correlating with apoptotic activity and independent of the agent or cell line used. Our results suggest the involvement of non-canonical Wnt signaling in executing programmed cell death in myeloid cell lines.
Katoh MNetworking of WNT, FGF, Notch, BMP, and Hedgehog signaling pathways during carcinogenesis.
Stem Cell Rev. 2007; 3(1):30-8 [PubMed
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The biological functions of some orthologs within the human genome and model-animal genomes are evolutionarily conserved, but those of others are divergent due to protein evolution and promoter evolution. Because WNT signaling molecules play key roles during embryogenesis, tissue regeneration and carcinogenesis, the author's group has carried out a human WNT-ome project for the comprehensive characterization of human genes encoding WNT signaling molecules. From 1996 to 2002, we cloned and characterized WNT2B/WNT13, WNT3, WNT3A, WNT5B, WNT6, WNT7B, WNT8A, WNT8B, WNT9A/WNT14, WNT9B/WNT14B, WNT10A, WNT10B, WNT11, FZD1, FZD2, FZD3, FZD4, FZD5, FZD6, FZD7, FZD8, FZD10, FRAT1, FRAT2, NKD1, NKD2, VANGL1, RHOU/ARHU, RHOV/ARHV, GIPC2, GIPC3, FBXW11/betaTRCP2, SOX17, TCF7L1/TCF3, and established a cDNA-PCR system for snap-shot and dynamic analyses on the WNT-transcriptome. In 2003, we identified and characterized PRICKLE1, PRICKLE2, DACT1/DAPPER1, DACT2/DAPPER2, DAAM2, and BCL9L. After completion of the human WNT-ome project, we have been working on the stem cell signaling network. WNT signals are transduced to beta-catenin, NLK, NFAT, PKC, JNK and RhoA signaling cascades. FGF20, JAG1 and DKK1 are target genes of the WNT-beta-catenin signaling cascade. Cross-talk of WNT and FGF signaling pathways potentiates beta-catenin and NFAT signaling cascades. BMP signals induce IHH upregulation in co-operation with RUNX. Hedgehog signals induce upregulation of SFRP1, JAG2 and FOXL1, and then FOXL1 induces BMP4 upregulation. The balance between WNT-FGF-Notch and BMP-Hedgehog signaling networks is important for the maintenance of homoestasis among stem and progenitor cells. Disruption of the stem cell signaling network results in pathological conditions, such as congenital diseases and cancer.
Katoh M, Katoh MComparative integromics on non-canonical WNT or planar cell polarity signaling molecules: transcriptional mechanism of PTK7 in colorectal cancer and that of SEMA6A in undifferentiated ES cells.
Int J Mol Med. 2007; 20(3):405-9 [PubMed
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Non-canonical WNT and planar cell polarity (PCP) are overlapping but distinct signaling pathways, which control convergent extension, neural tube closure, orientation of cilia and sensory hair cells, axon guidance, and cell motility. Non-canonical WNT signals, regulated by the interaction of WNT, WNT antagonist, Frizzled and ROR2, are transduced to JNK, ROCK, PKC, MAP3K7, and NFAT signaling cascades. PCP signals, regulated by the interaction of VANGL-PRICKLE complex, CELSR and Frizzled-DVL complex, are transduced to JNK, ROCK, and other uncharacterized signaling cascades. PTK7 signaling, regulated by SEMA6 and Plexin-A family members, affects PCP pathway through VANGL. Here, integrative genomic analyses on WNT5A, WNT5B, WNT11, FZD3, FZD6, ROR1, ROR2, RYK, CELSR1, CELSR2, CELSR3, VANGL1, VANGL2, PRICKLE1, PRICKLE2, PTK7, SEMA6A, SEMA6B, SEMA6C and SEMA6D were carried out. PTK7 and SEMA6A were expressed in undifferentiated embryonic stem (ES) cells, SEMA6A in endodermal progenitors, CELSR1, VANGL1 and PTK7 in gastrointestinal tumors. CELSR2, PRICKLE2 and SEMA6C were expressed in fetal brain, CELSR2, PRICKLE1 and SEMA6A in adult brain, WNT5A and CELSR3 in adult brain tumors. These facts indicate class switches of non-canonical WNT or PCP signaling molecules during embryogenesis and carcinogenesis. TCF/LEF-, SP1-, and 5 bHLH-binding sites within human PTK7 promoter were conserved in chimpanzee, rhesus monkey, mouse, and rat PTK7 orthologs, which explained the mechanism of PTK7 upregulation in colorectal cancer. NANOG-, SOX2-, and POU5F1 (OCT3/OCT4)-binding sites within intron 1 of the human SEMA6A gene were conserved in chimpanzee, rhesus monkey, mouse, and rat SEMA6A orthologs, which explained the mechanism of SEMA6A upregulation in undifferentiated ES cells. Most of non-canonical WNT or PCP signaling molecules, except PTK7 and SEMA6A, were not frequently expressed in undifferentiated human ES cells. Non-canonical WNT or PCP signaling pathway, activated to orchestrate gastrulation and neurulation, was relatively downregulated in undifferentiated ES cells derived from inner cell mass of blastocysts.
Kuorelahti A, Rulli S, Huhtaniemi I, Poutanen MHuman chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) up-regulates wnt5b and wnt7b in the mammary gland, and hCGbeta transgenic female mice present with mammary Gland tumors exhibiting characteristics of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway activation.
Endocrinology. 2007; 148(8):3694-703 [PubMed
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Transgenic (TG) mice expressing human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) beta-subunit under the ubiquitin C promoter, presenting with a moderately elevated level of LH/hCG bioactivity develop multiple neoplasms secondary to the endocrine abnormalities, including mammary gland tumors after the age of 9 months. The increased levels of circulating estradiol, progesterone, and prolactin of the TG females after puberty boost the lobuloalveolar development in the mammary gland resulting ultimately in the formation of estrogen and progesterone receptor-negative, malignant tumors. These tumors have a similar histopathology with those observed in TG mice with activated wnt/beta-catenin pathway, showing increased expression of beta-catenin, also a common finding in human breast tumors. Transdifferentiation is observed in mammary tumors of the hCGbeta TG mice, accompanied by abnormal expression of the Wnt genes in the tumorous and nontumorous mammary gland tissue. Specifically we found increased expression of Wnt5b in the TG mammary glands at the age of 3 months and up-regulation of Wnt7b and -5b in the subsequently appearing tumors. Importantly, hCG was found to up-regulate these wnt ligands in mouse mammary gland, independent of the changes in ovarian steroidogenesis. Thus, the hCGbeta-overexpressing TG mice represent a novel model that links enhanced hCG action to dysregulated wnt signaling in the mammary gland, resulting in beta-catenin-stabilizing mammary tumorigenesis. The novel finding of hCG up-regulating wnt7b and wnt5b could contribute to pregnancy-induced breast cancer in humans.
Benhaj K, Akcali KC, Ozturk MRedundant expression of canonical Wnt ligands in human breast cancer cell lines.
Oncol Rep. 2006; 15(3):701-7 [PubMed
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Human breast cancer displays nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin and induction of cyclin D1 expression, which suggests that canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is activated. In other cancers, the activation of canonical wnt/beta-catenin signaling is associated with APC, CTNNB1 or AXIN1 mutations. However, these mutations are rare or absent in breast cancer. In search of alternative mechanisms, we performed comprehensive expression analysis of Wnt signaling molecules, including 19 Wnt ligands, ten Frizzled receptors, two co-receptors and four Lef/TCF transcription factors in immortalized normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) and six breast cancer cell lines. HMEC expressed all Frizzled receptors except FZD9 and FZD10. They also expressed LRP5 and LRP6 co-receptors, as well as four Lef/TCF transcription factors. HMEC cells also expressed many Wnt ligands, including WNT1, WNT2B, WNT3, WNT5A, WNT5B, WNT7B, WNT9A, WNT10B and WNT16. Redundant expression of Wnt ligands, Frizzled receptors, co-receptors and Lef/TCF transcription factors was maintained in breast cancer cell lines with some exceptions. The most important changes in cancer cell lines concerned Wnt ligand expression. We noticed that most breast cancer cell lines overexpressed WNT3A, WNT4, WNT6, WNT8B, WNT9A and WNT10B. In contrast, the expression of WNT5A, WNT5B and WNT16 was usually down-regulated. It is noteworthy that all six Wnt ligands that are overexpressed in malignant cell lines are known to signal through the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway, whereas down-regulated WNT5A and WNT5B ligands signal via the non-canonical pathway. The expression of both canonical Wnt ligands and most Frizzled receptors in breast cancer cell lines suggests that canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is activated in these cell lines by an autocrine/paracrine mechanism. In support of this prediction, we observed nuclear beta-catenin accumulation and cyclin D1 induction in breast cancer cell lines, but not in HMEC. These results imply that ligand-dependent canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is active in human breast cancer.
WNT/planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling pathway controls tissue polarity and cell movement through the activation of RHOA, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and nemo-like kinase (NLK) signaling cascades. PCP is induced in Drosophila by the asymmetrical localization of Frizzled-Dishevelled-Diego-Starry night (Flamingo) complex and Van Gogh (Strabismus)-Prickle complex. Here, WNT/PCP signaling pathway implicated in human carcinogenesis is reviewed. Human WNT5A, WNT5B, and WNT11 are representative non-canonical WNTs transducing PCP signals through FZD3 or FZD6 receptors, and ROR1, ROR2 or PTK7 co-receptors. Human VANGL1, VANGL2 (Van Gogh homologs), CELSR1, CELSR2, CELSR3 (Starry night homologs), DVL1, DVL2, DVL3 (Dishevelled homologs), PRICKLE1, PRICKLE2 (Prickle homologs), and ANKRD6 (Diego homolog) are core PCP signaling molecules. MAGI3 assembles FZD, VANGL, PTEN, and adhesion molecules. Dishevelled-dependent WNT/PCP signals are transduced to the RHOA signaling cascade through Formin homology proteins DAAM1 and DAAM2, and to the JNK signaling cascade through MAPKKKs and MAPKK4/7. Dishevelled-independent WNT/ PCP signals are transduced to the NLK signaling cascade through MAP3K7 (TAK1). ANKRD6, NKD1 and NKD2 induce class switch from the WNT/GSK3beta signaling pathway to the WNT/PCP signaling pathway. WNT5A is up-regulated in various types of human cancer, such as gastric cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma. FZD3/FZD6 receptor and ROR2 co-receptor transduce WNT5A signal in gastric cancer. Aberrant activation of WNT/PCP signaling pathway in human cancer leads to more malignant phenotypes, such as abnormal tissue polarity, invasion, and metastasis. cDNA-PCR, microarray or ELISA reflecting aberrant activation of WNT/PCP signaling pathway could be developed as novel cancer prognostics. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and copy number polymorphism (CNP) of WNT/PCP signaling molecules mentioned above are suitable for use in screening of cancer predisposition, especially for gastric cancer. Antibody, RNAi, or small molecule compounds to regulate the function of WNT/PCP signaling molecules mentioned above are good candidates for development as novel cancer therapeutics.