Gene Summary

Gene:WNT7A; Wnt family member 7A
Aliases: Wnt-7a
Summary:This gene is a member of the WNT gene family, which consists of structurally related genes that 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 involved in the development of the anterior-posterior axis in the female reproductive tract, and also plays a critical role in uterine smooth muscle pattering and maintenance of adult uterine function. Mutations in this gene are associated with Fuhrmann and Al-Awadi/Raas-Rothschild/Schinzel phocomelia syndromes. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:protein Wnt-7a
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (48)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 02 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Messenger RNA
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Epithelial Cells
  • DNA Methylation
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Transfection
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • VHL
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • TCF Transcription Factors
  • Promoter Regions
  • Young Adult
  • Disease Progression
  • Staging
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Proteins
  • Chromosome 3
  • Transcription Factors
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Signal Transduction
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Protein Interaction Maps
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Lung Cancer
  • Cell Movement
  • Frizzled Receptors
  • Base Sequence
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: WNT7A (cancer-related)

Jia B, Qiu X, Chu H, et al.
Wnt7a predicts poor prognosis, and contributes to growth and metastasis in tongue squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(3):1749-1758 [PubMed] Related Publications
Regional and distant metastases are the principal reasons underlying the high mortality rate associated with tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC); however, the precise molecular mechanisms involved in tongue tumorigenesis remain unknown. The present study aimed to determine the expression and mechanism of regulation of Wnt7a in the growth and metastasis of TSCC. Wnt7a mRNA and protein expression levels were examined in TSCC tissues using reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical staining. A loss‑of‑function assay was performed in TSCC cell lines using Wnt7a small interfering RNA or short hairpin RNA, after which, cell proliferation, migration and invasion were analyzed using Cell Counting Kit‑8, tumorigenicity and Transwell assays, respectively. Epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT)‑associated proteins were detected by western blotting. The mRNA and protein expression levels of Wnt7a were significantly upregulated in cancer tissues compared with in the adjacent non‑cancerous tissues. Clinical analysis indicated that Wnt7a expression was associated with T classification, lymph node metastasis and pathological differentiation, and high Wnt7a expression predicted a short recurrence‑free survival for patients with TSCC. Silencing Wnt7a expression suppressed cell proliferation, migration and invasion, and reversed the EMT phenotype in TSCC cell lines. The present study revealed that Wnt7a may be upregulated in TSCC, where it may participate in modulating cell proliferation, migration, invasion and the EMT of TSCC. Therefore, Wnt7a should be considered a novel oncogene, and a potential prognostic and therapeutic target for patients with TSCC.

Becer E, Hanoğlu DY, Kabadayı H, et al.
The effect of Colchicum pusillum in human colon cancer cells via Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Gene. 2019; 686:213-219 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Colchicum pusillum belongs to the family Colchicaceae that particularly rich in tropolonic alkaloids. The aim of this study was to investigate the cytotoxicity and in vitro anticancer activity of Colchicum pusillum ethanolic extract on Colo-320 primer and Colo-741 metastatic colon adenocarcinoma cell lines.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Colchicum pusillum was collected and extracted with ethanol. Different concentrations of Colchicum pusillum extract were incubated for 24 h and 48 h with Colo-320 and Colo-741 cells. Cell growth and cytotoxicity were measured by 3‑(4,5‑dimethylthiazol‑2‑yl)‑2,5‑diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays. Anticancer and antiproliferative activities of Colchicum pusillum were investigated by immunocytochemistry using antibodies directed against to β-catenin, Ki-67, LGR-5 Ki-67, DKK1, Frizzled-4, Wnt4, Wnt7a and caspase3 in Colo-741 cells.
RESULTS: All concentrations of Colchicum pusillum extract had toxic effect in Colo-320 cells. Because of this, we used Colchicum pusillum extract at 20 μg/ml for evaluate anticancer activities only in Colo-741 cells. As a result of immunohistochemical staining, β-catenin, LGR-5 and caspase-3 immunoreactivities were significantly increased while Wnt7a immunostaining intensity was decreased in Colo-741 cells. Conclusion We conclude that Colchicum pusillum extract increased β-catenin and LGR-5 via Wnt/β-catenin pathway in colon cancer cells. Interestingly, it decreased other signaling molecule, Wnt7a which is assumed to play protective role during carcinogenesis. Also, it increased significantly caspase-3 immunoreactivity showing that apoptotic pathways were triggered.

Le PN, Keysar SB, Miller B, et al.
Wnt signaling dynamics in head and neck squamous cell cancer tumor-stroma interactions.
Mol Carcinog. 2019; 58(3):398-410 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Wnt pathway activation maintains the cancer stem cell (CSC) phenotype and promotes tumor progression, making it an attractive target for anti-cancer therapy. Wnt signaling at the tumor and tumor microenvironment (TME) front have not been investigated in depth in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In a cohort of 48 HNSCCs, increased Wnt signaling, including Wnt genes (AXIN2, LGR6, WISP1) and stem cell factors (RET, SOX5, KIT), were associated with a more advanced clinical stage. Key Wnt pathway proteins were most abundant at the cancer epithelial-stromal boundary. To investigate these observations, we generated three pairs of cancer-cancer associated fibroblast (CAF) cell lines derived from the same HNSCC patients. 3D co-culture of cancer spheres and CAFs mimicked these in vivo interactions, and using these we observed increased expression of Wnt genes (eg, WNT3A, WNT7A, WNT16) in both compartments. Of these Wnt ligands, we found Wnt3a, and less consistently Wnt16, activated Wnt signaling in both cancer cells and CAFs. Wnt activation increased CSC characteristics like sphere formation and invasiveness, which was further regulated by the presence of CAFs. Time lapse microscopy also revealed preferential Wnt activation of cancer cells. Wnt inhibitors, OMP-18R5 and OMP-54F28, significantly reduced growth of HNSCC patient-derived xenografts and suppressed Wnt activation at the tumor epithelial-stromal boundary. Taken together, our findings suggest that Wnt signaling is initiated in cancer cells which then activate CAFs, and in turn perpetuate a paracrine signaling loop. This suggests that targeting Wnt signaling in the TME is essential.

Griveau A, Seano G, Shelton SJ, et al.
A Glial Signature and Wnt7 Signaling Regulate Glioma-Vascular Interactions and Tumor Microenvironment.
Cancer Cell. 2018; 33(5):874-889.e7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Gliomas comprise heterogeneous malignant glial and stromal cells. While blood vessel co-option is a potential mechanism to escape anti-angiogenic therapy, the relevance of glial phenotype in this process is unclear. We show that Olig2

Huang X, Zhu H, Gao Z, et al.
Wnt7a activates canonical Wnt signaling, promotes bladder cancer cell invasion, and is suppressed by miR-370-3p.
J Biol Chem. 2018; 293(18):6693-6706 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Once urinary bladder cancer (UBC) develops into muscle-invasive bladder cancer, its mortality rate increases dramatically. However, the molecular mechanisms of UBC invasion and metastasis remain largely unknown. Herein, using 5637 UBC cells, we generated two sublines with low (5637 NMI) and high (5637 HMI) invasive capabilities. Mass spectrum analyses revealed that the Wnt family protein Wnt7a is more highly expressed in 5637 HMI cells than in 5637 NMI cells. We also found that increased Wnt7a expression is associated with UBC metastasis and predicted worse clinical outcome in UBC patients. Wnt7a depletion in 5637 HMI and T24 cells reduced UBC cell invasion and decreased levels of active β-catenin and its downstream target genes involved in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation. Consistently, treating 5637 NMI and J82 cells with recombinant Wnt7a induced cell invasion, EMT, and expression of ECM degradation-associated genes. Moreover, TOP/FOPflash luciferase assays indicated that Wnt7a activated canonical β-catenin signaling in UBC cells, and increased Wnt7a expression was associated with nuclear β-catenin in UBC samples. Wnt7a ablation suppressed matrix metalloproteinase 10 (MMP10) expression, and Wnt7a overexpression increased

Ortiz-Matamoros A, Arias C
Chronic infusion of Wnt7a, Wnt5a and Dkk-1 in the adult hippocampus induces structural synaptic changes and modifies anxiety and memory performance.
Brain Res Bull. 2018; 139:243-255 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wnt signaling plays an important role in the adult brain function and its dysregulation has been implicated in some neurodegenerative pathways. Despite the functional role of the Wnt signaling in adult neural circuits, there is currently no evidence regarding the relationships between exogenously Wnt signaling activation or inhibition and hippocampal structural changes in vivo. Thus, we analyzed the effect of the chronic infusion of Wnt agonists, Wnt7a and Wnt5a, and antagonist, Dkk-1, on different markers of plasticity such as neuronal MAP-2, Tau, synapse number and morphology, and behavioral changes. We observed that Wnt7a and Wnt5a increased the number of perforated synapses and the content of pre-and postsynaptic proteins associated with synapse assembly compared to control and Dkk-1 infusion. These two Wnt agonists also reduced anxiety-like behavior. Conversely, the canonical antagonist, Dkk-1, increased anxiety and inhibited spatial memory recall. Therefore, the present study elucidates the potential participation of Wnt signaling in the remodeling of hippocampal circuits underlying plasticity events in vivo, and provides evidence of the potential benefits of Wnt agonist infusion for the treatment of some neurodegenerative conditions.

Sundqvist A, Morikawa M, Ren J, et al.
JUNB governs a feed-forward network of TGFβ signaling that aggravates breast cancer invasion.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2018; 46(3):1180-1195 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
It is well established that transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) switches its function from being a tumor suppressor to a tumor promoter during the course of tumorigenesis, which involves both cell-intrinsic and environment-mediated mechanisms. We are interested in breast cancer cells, in which SMAD mutations are rare and interactions between SMAD and other transcription factors define pro-oncogenic events. Here, we have performed chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-sequencing analyses which indicate that the genome-wide landscape of SMAD2/3 binding is altered after prolonged TGFβ stimulation. De novo motif analyses of the SMAD2/3 binding regions predict enrichment of binding motifs for activator protein (AP)1 in addition to SMAD motifs. TGFβ-induced expression of the AP1 component JUNB was required for expression of many late invasion-mediating genes, creating a feed-forward regulatory network. Moreover, we found that several components in the WNT pathway were enriched among the late TGFβ-target genes, including the invasion-inducing WNT7 proteins. Consistently, overexpression of WNT7A or WNT7B enhanced and potentiated TGFβ-induced breast cancer cell invasion, while inhibition of the WNT pathway reduced this process. Our study thereby helps to explain how accumulation of pro-oncogenic stimuli switches and stabilizes TGFβ-induced cellular phenotypes of epithelial cells.

Ma AY, Xie SW, Zhou JY, Zhu Y
Nomegestrol Acetate Suppresses Human Endometrial Cancer RL95-2 Cells Proliferation In Vitro and In Vivo Possibly Related to Upregulating Expression of SUFU and Wnt7a.
Int J Mol Sci. 2017; 18(7) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Nomegestrol acetate (NOMAC) has been successfully used for the treatment of some gynecological disorders, and as a combined oral contraceptive with approval in many countries. In this study, we investigated the effects of NOMAC on human endometrial cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. The proliferation of human endometrial cancer cells (RL95-2 and KLE) were assessed using CCK-8 and EdU incorporation assays. Whole-genome cDNA microarray analysis was used to identify the effects of NOMAC on gene expression profiles in RL95-2 cells. RL95-2 xenograft nude mice were treated with NOMAC (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) or medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA; 100 and 200 mg/kg) for 28 consecutive days. The results showed that NOMAC significantly inhibited the growth of RL95-2 cells in a concentration-dependent manner, but not in KLE cells. Further investigation demonstrated that NOMAC produced a stronger inhibition of tumor growth (inhibition rates for 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg NOMAC were 24.74%, 47.04%, and 58.06%, respectively) than did MPA (inhibition rates for 100 and 200 mg/kg MPA were 41.06% and 27.01%, respectively) in the nude mice bearing the cell line of RL95-2. NOMAC altered the expression of several genes related to cancer cell proliferation, including

Yan P, Xu J, Zeng Y, et al.
Long-term effects of repeated superovulation on the uterus and mammary gland in rhesus monkeys.
J Assist Reprod Genet. 2017; 34(4):535-545 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of repeated controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) on the structure and function of the uterus and mammary gland.
METHODS: Three adult female rhesus monkeys were superovulated up to four times, and three spontaneously ovulating monkeys were used as controls. After a 5-year period, the uterus and mammary gland tissue samples were collected for examination of their structure and function. Further, the expression of certain tumor markers was examined to assess the cancer risk for each organ.
RESULTS: Expression of Wnt7a (associated with the functional/developmental status of the uterus) was significantly decreased in the uterus of superovulated monkeys, and decreased expression of proliferation marker PCNA was found in uterine cells. Meanwhile, abnormal Golgi-derived secretory vesicles with an irregular shape were observed in the mammary glands of the superovulated monkeys, and decreased PCNA expression together with increased expression of caspase-3 (an apoptosis marker) was indicated in the mammary cells. The expression of tumor molecular markers of the uterus and mammary gland was not significantly different between the two groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Repeated COH affects the expression of the uterine development-related gene several years later, and uterine cells exhibited a low proliferation status. The ultrastructure of the mammary gland epithelial cells was abnormal, and the cells exhibited both low proliferation and high apoptosis status. Cancer risk for these organs was not observed. Given that primates are the closest relatives of humans, the results obtained from this study provide more intuitive information for optimization of clinical COH.

Zhao L, Ji G, Le X, et al.
An integrated analysis identifies STAT4 as a key regulator of ovarian cancer metastasis.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(24):3384-3396 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is one of the most common gynecological cancers, with diagnosis often at a late stage. Metastasis is a major cause of death in patients with EOC, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain obscure. Here, we utilized an integrated approach to find potential key transcription factors involved in ovarian cancer metastasis and identified STAT4 as a critical player in ovarian cancer metastasis. We found that activated STAT4 was overexpressed in epithelial cells of ovarian cancer and STAT4 overexpression was associated with poor outcome of ovarian cancer patients, which promoted metastasis of ovarian cancer in both in vivo and in vitro. Although STAT4 mediated EOC metastasis via inducing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of ovarian cancer cells in vivo, STAT4 failed to induce EMT directly in vitro, suggesting that STAT4 might mediate EMT process via cancer-stroma interactions. Further functional analysis revealed that STAT4 overexpression induced normal omental fibroblasts and adipose- and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells to obtain cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF)-like features via induction of tumor-derived Wnt7a. Reciprocally, increased production of CAF-induced CXCL12, IL6 and VEGFA within tumor microenvironment could enable peritoneal metastasis of ovarian cancer via induction of EMT program. In summary, our study established a model that STAT4 promotes ovarian cancer metastasis via tumor-derived Wnt7a-induced activation of CAFs.

MacLean JA, King ML, Okuda H, Hayashi K
WNT7A Regulation by miR-15b in Ovarian Cancer.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(5):e0156109 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
WNT signaling is well known to play an important role in the regulation of development, cell proliferation and cell differentiation in a wide variety of normal and cancerous tissues. Despite the wealth of knowledge concerning when and where various WNT genes are expressed and downstream events under their control, there is surprisingly little published evidence of how they are regulated. We have recently reported that aberrant WNT7A is observed in serous ovarian carcinomas, and WNT7A is the sole ligand accelerating ovarian tumor progression through CTNNB1 (β-catenin)/TCF signaling in the absence of CTNNB1 mutations. In the present study, we report that WNT7A is a direct target of miR-15b in ovarian cancer. We showed that a luciferase reporter containing the putative binding site of miR-15b in the WNT7A 3'-UTR was significantly repressed by miR-15b. Mutation of the putative binding site of miR-15b in the WNT7A 3'-UTR restored luciferase activity. Furthermore, miR-15b was able to repress increased levels of TOPFLASH activity by WNT7A, but not those induced by S33Y. Additionally, miR-15b dose-dependently decreased WNT7A expression. When we evaluated the prognostic impact of WNT7A and miR-15b expression using TCGA datasets, a significant inverse correlation in which high-expression of WNT7A and low-expression of miR-15b was associated with reduced survival rates of ovarian cancer patients. Treatment with decitabine dose-dependently increased miR-15b expression, and silencing of DNMT1 significantly increased miR-15b expression. These results suggest that WNT7A is post-transcriptionally regulated by miR-15b, which could be down-regulated by promoter hypermethylation, potentially via DNMT1, in ovarian cancer.

Avgustinova A, Iravani M, Robertson D, et al.
Tumour cell-derived Wnt7a recruits and activates fibroblasts to promote tumour aggressiveness.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:10305 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Stromal fibroblast recruitment to tumours and activation to a cancer-associated fibroblast (CAF) phenotype has been implicated in promoting primary tumour growth and progression to metastatic disease. However, the mechanisms underlying the tumour:fibroblast crosstalk that drive the intertumoural stromal heterogeneity remain poorly understood. Using in vivo models we identify Wnt7a as a key factor secreted exclusively by aggressive breast tumour cells, which induces CAF conversion. Functionally, this results in extracellular matrix remodelling to create a permissive environment for tumour cell invasion and promotion of distant metastasis. Mechanistically, Wnt7a-mediated fibroblast activation is not dependent on classical Wnt signalling. Instead, we demonstrate that Wnt7a potentiates TGFβ receptor signalling both in 3D in vitro and in vivo models, thus highlighting the interaction between two of the key signalling pathways in development and disease. Importantly, in clinical breast cancer cohorts, tumour cell Wnt7a expression correlates with a desmoplastic, poor-prognosis stroma and poor patient outcome.

Nawaz I, Hu LF, Du ZM, et al.
Integrin α9 gene promoter is hypermethylated and downregulated in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(31):31493-507 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) by promoter methylation can be an early event in the multi-step process of carcinogenesis. Human chromosome 3 contains clusters of TSGs involved in many cancer types including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), the most common cancer in Southern China. Among ten candidate TSGs identified in chromosome 3 using NotI microarray, ITGA9 and WNT7A could be validated. 5'-aza-2' deoxycytidine treatment restored the expression of ITGA9 and WNT7A in two NPC cell lines. Immunostaining showed strong expression of these genes in the membrane and cytoplasm of adjacent control nasopharyngeal epithelium cells, while they were weakly expressed in NPC tumor cells. The ITGA9 promoter showed marked differentially methylation between tumor and control tissue, whereas no differentially methylation could be detected for the WNT7A promoter. The expression level of ITGA9 in NPC tumors was downregulated 4.9-fold, compared to the expression in control. ITGA9 methylation was detected by methylation specific PCR (MSP) in 56% of EBV positive NPC-cases with 100% specificity. Taken together, this suggests that ITGA9 might be a TSG in NPC that is involved in tumor cell biology. The possibility of using ITGA9 methylation as a marker for early detection of NPC should further be explored.

Wang Y, Wei J, Zhang S, et al.
Overexpression of Wnt7α protein predicts poor survival in patients with colorectal carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(11):8781-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wnt7α (wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 7A) is a secreted glycoprotein that plays a critical role in tumorigenesis and development by controlling cell proliferation and differentiation. Whether Wnt7α has the properties of an oncogene or not is an interesting issue because of its diverse expression in different tumors. In the present study, Wnt7α protein expression was evaluated through immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. Univariate and multivariate analyses were applied to explore the associations between Wnt7α staining score and various clinical parameters, including overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS), and a total of 212 patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) were surveyed. Wnt7α was strongly expressed in most CRC tissues but weakly expressed in adjacent normal mucosa, colorectal adenomas, and colonic polyps. High levels of Wnt7α expression were strongly associated with tumor size (P = 0.006), lymph node involvement (P < 0.001), and the international tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage (P = 0.005). Patients with strong Wnt7α expression showed significantly poorer OS and DFS than patients with weak Wnt7α expression (P < 0.0001, both). Multivariate Cox analysis confirmed that Wnt7α protein expression and TNM stage are independent factors of adverse OS and DFS in CRC patients. Taken together, our results present evidence that Wnt7α overexpression is associated with an unfavorable prognosis and that positive Wnt7α, in addition to TNM stage, may be an independent prognosis factor influencing OS and DFS prediction in CRC patients.

Kim BK, Kim I, Yoon SK
Identification of miR-199a-5p target genes in the skin keratinocyte and their expression in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
J Dermatol Sci. 2015; 79(2):137-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that mediate the biological cellular processes via regulation of target genes through translational repression or mRNA degradation. Among various miRNAs, miRNA-199a (miR-199a) has been known to be involved in cancer development and progression, protection of cardiomyocyte, and skeletal formation.
OBJECTIVE: Although miR-199a-5p was studied in various cell types, the role of miR-199a-5p and its target genes in skin keratinocyte have not been documented. In this study, we identified target genes of miR-199a-5p in skin keratinocyte.
METHODS: In order to identify the target of miR-199a-5p in keratinocyte, microarray analysis was performed. The relative expression of candidate target genes was investigated using quantitative RT-PCR and western blot analysis. To determine whether their expression was directly regulated by miR-199a-5p, luciferase reporter assay was performed. In order to investigate expression of target genes in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, immunohistochemistry was performed.
RESULTS: We identified new target genes, Bcam, Fzd6, and Wnt7a, as well as previously known targets, Ddr1 and Podxl. We found that their expressions were directly regulated by miR-199a-5p in the skin keratinocyte using in vitro study and observed that expression of miR-199a-5p was inversely correlated with those of BCAM, FZD6 and DDR1 in the cSCC. In addition, overexpression of miR-199a-5p resulted in inhibition of the migratory capability of the skin keratinocyte.
CONCLUSION: These results suggested that miR-199a-5p plays a role in pathogenesis of cSCC via inhibition of invasiveness through regulation of BCAM, FZD6 and DDR1 expression.

Ramos-Solano M, Meza-Canales ID, Torres-Reyes LA, et al.
Expression of WNT genes in cervical cancer-derived cells: Implication of WNT7A in cell proliferation and migration.
Exp Cell Res. 2015; 335(1):39-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
According to the multifactorial model of cervical cancer (CC) causation, it is now recognized that other modifications, in addition to Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, are necessary for the development of this neoplasia. Among these, it has been proposed that a dysregulation of the WNT pathway might favor malignant progression of HPV-immortalized keratinocytes. The aim of this study was to identify components of the WNT pathway differentially expressed in CC vs. non-tumorigenic, but immortalized human keratinocytes. Interestingly, WNT7A expression was found strongly downregulated in cell lines and biopsies derived from CC. Restoration of WNT7A in CC-derived cell lines using a lentiviral gene delivery system or after adding a recombinant human protein decreases cell proliferation. Likewise, WNT7A silencing in non-tumorigenic cells markedly accelerates proliferation. Decreased WNT7A expression was due to hypermethylation at particular CpG sites. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting reduced WNT7A levels in CC-derived cells and that ectopic WNT7A restoration negatively affects cell proliferation and migration.

Kim TH, Moon JY, Kim SH, et al.
Clinical significance of aberrant Wnt7a promoter methylation in human non-small cell lung cancer in Koreans.
J Korean Med Sci. 2015; 30(2):155-61 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
The Wnt signaling pathway has regulatory roles in cell proliferation, differentiation, and polarity. Aberrant Wnt pathway regulation can lead to abnormal cell proliferation and cancer, and loss of Wnt7a expression has been demonstrated in lung cancer cell lines. E-cadherin keeps intercellular integrity and prevents metastasis. Therefore, E-cadherin has been known as a prognostic factor in cancer. In the present study, we investigated the E-cadherin expression status by immunohistochemical stain and the Wnt7a promoter methylation status in human non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) by methylation-specific PCR. We also analyzed their correlations with clinicopathological factors. Methylation of the Wnt7a gene promoter was detected in the lung tissues of 32 of 121 (26.4%) patients with NSCLC. Wnt7a promoter methylation was correlated with advanced tumor stage (P = 0.036) and distant metastasis (P = 0.037). In addition, Wnt7a promoter methylation showed correlation with loss of E-cadherin expression (P < 0.001). However, Wnt7a promoter methylation was not closely related with gender, age, histological type, or smoking habit. Even though Wnt7a methylation could not show significant correlation with the long term survival of the patients with limited follow up data, these findings suggest that loss of the Wnt7a gene induced by promoter methylation might be another prognostic factor for NSCLC and that restoration of Wnt7a may be a promising treatment for NSCLC.

King ML, Lindberg ME, Stodden GR, et al.
WNT7A/β-catenin signaling induces FGF1 and influences sensitivity to niclosamide in ovarian cancer.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(26):3452-62 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
We previously characterized the link between WNT7A and the progression of ovarian cancer. Other groups have identified FGF1 as a relevant risk factor in ovarian cancer. Here, we show a linkage between these two signaling pathways that may be exploited to improve treatment and prognosis of patients with ovarian cancer. High expression of WNT7A and FGF1 are correlated in ovarian carcinomas and poor overall patient survival. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated that WNT7A/β-catenin signaling directly regulates FGF1 expression via TCF binding elements in the FGF1-1C promoter locus. In vitro gene manipulation studies revealed that FGF1 is sufficient to drive the tumor-promoting effects of WNT7A. In vivo xenograft studies confirmed that the stable overexpression of WNT7A or FGF1 induced a significant increase in tumor incidence, whereas FGF1 knockdown in WNT7A overexpressing cells caused a significant reduction in tumor size. Niclosamide most efficiently abrogated WNT7A/β-catenin signaling in our model, inhibited β-catenin transcriptional activity and cell viability, and increased cell death. Furthermore, niclosamide decreased cell migration following an increase in E-cadherin subsequent to decreased levels of SLUG. The effects of niclosamide on cell functions were more potent in WNT7A-overexpressing cells. Oral niclosamide inhibited tumor growth and progression in an intraperitoneal xenograft mouse model representative of human ovarian cancer. Collectively, these results indicate that FGF1 is a direct downstream target of WNT7A/β-catenin signaling and this pathway has potential as a therapeutic target in ovarian cancer. Moreover, niclosamide is a promising inhibitor of this pathway and may have clinical relevance.

Itesako T, Seki N, Yoshino H, et al.
The microRNA expression signature of bladder cancer by deep sequencing: the functional significance of the miR-195/497 cluster.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e84311 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Current genome-wide microRNA (miRNA) expression signature analysis using deep sequencing technologies can drive the discovery of novel cancer pathways regulated by oncogenic and/or tumor suppressive miRNAs. We determined the genome-wide miRNA expression signature in bladder cancer (BC) by deep sequencing technology. A total of ten small RNA libraries were sequenced (five BCs and five samples of histologically normal bladder epithelia (NBE)), and 13,190,619 to 18,559,060 clean small RNA reads were obtained. A total of 933 known miRNAs and 17 new miRNA candidates were detected in this analysis. Among the known miRNAs, a total of 60 miRNAs were significantly downregulated in BC compared with NBE. We also found that several miRNAs, such as miR-1/133a, miR-206/133b, let-7c/miR-99a, miR-143/145 and miR-195/497, were located close together at five distinct loci and constituted clustered miRNAs. Among these clustered miRNAs, we focused on the miR-195/497 cluster because this clustered miRNA had not been analyzed in BC. Transfection of mature miR-195 or miR-497 in two BC cell lines (BOY and T24) significantly inhibited cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion, suggesting that the miR-195/497 cluster functioned as tumor suppressors in BC. Regarding the genes targeted by the miR-195/497 cluster, the TargetScan algorithm showed that 6,730 genes were putative miR-195/497 targets, and 113 significantly enriched signaling pathways were identified in this analysis. The "Pathways in cancer" category was the most enriched, involving 104 candidate target genes. Gene expression data revealed that 27 of 104 candidate target genes were actually upregulated in BC clinical specimens. Luciferase reporter assays and Western blotting demonstrated that BIRC5 and WNT7A were directly targeted by miR-195/497. In conclusion, aberrant expression of clustered miRNAs was identified by deep sequencing, and downregulation of miR-195/497 contributed to BC progression and metastasis. Tumor suppressive miRNA-mediated cancer pathways provide new insights into the potential mechanisms of BC oncogenesis.

Stewart DJ
Wnt signaling pathway in non-small cell lung cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(1):djt356 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wnt/β-catenin alterations are prominent in human malignancies. In non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), β-catenin and APC mutations are uncommon, but Wnt signaling is important in NSCLC cell lines, and Wnt inhibition reduces proliferation. Overexpression of Wnt-1, -2, -3, and -5a and of Wnt-pathway components Frizzled-8, Dishevelled, Porcupine, and TCF-4 is common in resected NSCLC and is associated with poor prognosis. Conversely, noncanonical Wnt-7a suppresses NSCLC development and is often downregulated. Although β-catenin is often expressed in NSCLCs, it was paradoxically associated with improved prognosis in some series, possibly because of E-cadherin interactions. Downregulation of Wnt inhibitors (eg, by hypermethylation) is common in NSCLC tumor cell lines and resected samples; may be associated with high stage, dedifferentiation, and poor prognosis; and has been reported for AXIN, sFRPs 1-5, WIF-1, Dkk-1, Dkk-3, HDPR1, RUNX3, APC, CDX2, DACT2, TMEM88, Chibby, NKD1, EMX2, ING4, and miR-487b. AXIN is also destabilized by tankyrases, and GSK3β may be inactivated through phosphorylation by EGFR. Preclinically, restoration of Wnt inhibitor function is associated with reduced Wnt signaling, decreased cell proliferation, and increased apoptosis. Wnt signaling may also augment resistance to cisplatin, docetaxel, and radiotherapy, and Wnt inhibitors may restore sensitivity. Overall, available data indicate that Wnt signaling substantially impacts NSCLC tumorigenesis, prognosis, and resistance to therapy, with loss of Wnt signaling inhibitors by promoter hypermethylation or other mechanisms appearing to be particularly important. Wnt pathway antagonists warrant exploration clinically in NSCLC. Agents blocking selected specific β-catenin interactions and approaches to increase expression of downregulated Wnt inhibitors may be of particular interest.

Avasarala S, Bikkavilli RK, Van Scoyk M, et al.
Heterotrimeric G-protein, Gα16, is a critical downstream effector of non-canonical Wnt signaling and a potent inhibitor of transformed cell growth in non small cell lung cancer.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e76895 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) are the largest family of cell surface molecules that play important role/s in a number of biological and pathological processes including cancers. Earlier studies have highlighted the importance of Wnt7a signaling via its cognate receptor Frizzled9, a GPCR, in inhibition of cell proliferation, anchorage-independent growth, and reversal of transformed phenotype in non small cell lung cancer primarily through activation of the tumor suppressor, PPARγ. However, the G-protein effectors that couple to this important tumor suppressor pathway have not been identified, and are of potential therapeutic interest. In this study, by using two independent Wnt7a/Frizzled9-specific read-outs, we identify Gα16 as a novel downstream effector of Wnt7a/Frizzled9 signaling. Interestingly, Gα16 expression is severely down-regulated, both at the messenger RNA levels and protein levels, in many non small cell lung cancer cell lines. Additionally, through gene-specific knock-downs and expression of GTPase-deficient forms (Q212L) of Gα16, we also establish Gα16 as a novel regulator of non small cell lung cancer cell proliferation and anchorage-independent cell growth. Taken together, our data not only establish the importance of Gα16 as a critical downstream effector of the non-canonical Wnt signaling pathway but also as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of non small cell lung cancer.

Xiang X, Deng Z, Zhuang X, et al.
Grhl2 determines the epithelial phenotype of breast cancers and promotes tumor progression.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(12):e50781 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Until now the essential transcription factor that determines the epithelial phenotype of breast cancer has not been identified and its role in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and tumor progression remain unclear. Here, by analyzing large expression profiles of human breast cancer cells, we found an extraordinary correlation between the expression of Grainyhead transcription factor Grhl2 and epithelial marker E-cadherin. Knockdown of Grhl2 expression by shRNA in human mammary epithelial cell MCF10A leads to down-regulation of E-cadherin and EMT. Grhl2 is down-regulated in disseminated cancer cells that have undergone EMT, and over-expression of Grhl2 is sufficient to induce epithelial gene expression. Large clinical datasets reveal that expression of Grhl2 is significantly associated with poor relapse free survival and increased risk of metastasis in breast cancer patients. In mouse models, over-expression of Grhl2 significantly promotes tumor growth and metastasis. Further testing of several Grhl2 regulated genes leads to the same conclusions that the tumorigenic and metastatic potentials of tumor cells are linked to epithelial phenotype but not mesenchymal phenotype. In conclusion, our findings indicate that Grhl2 plays an essential role in the determination of epithelial phenotype of breast cancers, EMT and tumor progression.

Zhang M, Chan MH, Tu WJ, et al.
Using the theory of coevolution to predict protein-protein interactions in non-small cell lung cancer.
Chin J Cancer. 2013; 32(2):91-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Systems biology has become an effective approach for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of lung cancer. In this study, sequences of 100 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)-related proteins were downloaded from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) databases. The Theory of Coevolution was then used to build a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of NSCLC. Adopting the reverse thinking approach, we analyzed the NSCLC proteins one at a time. Fifteen key proteins were identified and categorized into a special protein family F(K), which included Cyclin D1 (CCND1), E-cadherin (CDH1), Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A), chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 12 (CXCL12), epidermal growth factor (EGF), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), TNF receptor superfamily, member 6(FAS), FK506 binding protein 12-rapamycin associated protein 1 (FRAP1), O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), parkinson protein 2, E3 ubiquitin protein ligase (PARK2), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), calcium channel voltage-dependent alpha 2/delta subunit 2 (CACNA2D2), tubulin beta class I (TUBB), SWI/SNF-related, matrix-associated, actin-dependent regulator of chromatin, subfamily a, member 2 (SMARCA2), and wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 7A (WNT7A). Seven key nodes of the sub-network were identified, which included PARK2, WNT7A, SMARCA2, FRAP1, CDKN2A, CCND1, and EGFR. The PPI predictions of EGFR-EGF, PARK2-FAS, PTEN-FAS, and CACNA2D2-CDH1 were confirmed experimentally by retrieving the Biological General Repository for Interaction Datasets (BioGRID) and PubMed databases. We proposed that the 7 proteins could serve as potential diagnostic molecular markers for NSCLC. In accordance with the developmental mode of lung cancer established by Sekine et al., we assumed that the occurrence and development of lung cancer were linked not only to gene loss in the 3p region (WNT7A, 3p25) and genetic mutations in the 9p region but also to similar events in the regions of 1p36.2 (FRAP1), 6q25.2-q27 (PARK2), and 11q13 (CCND1). Lastly, the invasion or metastasis of lung cancer happened.

Kondratov AG, Kvasha SM, Stoliar LA, et al.
Alterations of the WNT7A gene in clear cell renal cell carcinomas.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(10):e47012 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
WNT7A (wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 7A) is a known tumor suppressor gene of non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) and is frequently inactivated due to CpG-island hypermethylation in human cancers. The members of WNT family are involved in cell signaling and play crucial roles in cancer development. In the present work hypermethylation of the WNT7A gene was detected in 66% (29/44) of analyzed clear cell renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) using methyl-specific PCR (MSP). Moreover, bisulfite sequencing confirmed intensive hypermethylation of the 5'-CpG island of the WNT7A gene. Methylation analysis revealed positive correlations between tumor stage, Fuhrman nuclear grade and WNT7A hypermethylation. Additionally, restoration of WNT7A gene expression in the A498 cell line by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment confirmed a direct contribution of hypermethylation in silencing of the WNT7A gene. High frequency of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was demonstrated on chromosome 3p25 in regions surrounding the WNT7A gene. The frequent down-regulation of WNT7A gene expression was detected in 88% (15/17) of clear cell RCCs. We have also shown that the WNT7A gene possesses tumor suppression function by colony-formation and cell proliferation assays in RCC cell lines. In summary, the WNT7A gene is inactivated by genetic/epigenetic alterations in clear cell RCC and demonstrates tumor suppressor properties.

Asuthkar S, Gondi CS, Nalla AK, et al.
Urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR)-mediated regulation of WNT/β-catenin signaling is enhanced in irradiated medulloblastoma cells.
J Biol Chem. 2012; 287(24):20576-89 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) is known to promote invasion, migration, and metastasis in cancer cells. In this report, we showed that ionizing radiation (IR)-induced uPAR has a role in WNT-β-catenin signaling and mediates induction of cancer stem cell (CSC)-like properties in medulloblastoma cell lines UW228 and D283. We observed that IR induced the expression of uPAR and CSC markers, such as Musashi-1 and CD44, and activated WNT-7a-β-catenin signaling molecules. Overexpression of uPAR alone or with IR treatment led to increased WNT-7a-β-catenin-TCF/LEF-mediated transactivation, thereby promoting cancer stemness. In contrast, treatment with shRNA specific for uPAR (pU) suppressed WNT-7a-β-catenin-TCF/LEF-mediated transactivation both in vitro and in vivo. Quercetin, a potent WNT/β-catenin inhibitor, suppressed uPAR and uPAR-mediated WNT/β-catenin activation, and furthermore, addition of recombinant human WNT-7a protein induced uPAR, indicating the existence of a mutual regulatory relationship between uPAR and WNT/β-catenin signaling. We showed that uPAR was physically associated with the WNT effector molecule β-catenin on the membrane, cytoplasm, and nucleus of IR-treated cells and CSC. Most interestingly, we demonstrated for the first time that localization of uPAR in the nucleus was associated with transcription factors (TF) and their specific response elements. We observed from uPAR-ChIP, TF protein, and protein/DNA array analyses that uPAR associates with activating enhancer-binding protein 2α (AP2a) and mediates β-catenin gene transcription. Moreover, association of uPAR with the β-catenin·TCF/LEF complex and various other TF involved during embryonic development and cancer indicates that uPAR is a potent activator of stemness, and targeting of uPAR in combination with radiation has significant therapeutic implications.

Dmitriev AA, Kashuba VI, Haraldson K, et al.
Genetic and epigenetic analysis of non-small cell lung cancer with NotI-microarrays.
Epigenetics. 2012; 7(5):502-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aimed to clarify genetic and epigenetic alterations that occur during lung carcinogenesis and to design perspective sets of newly identified biomarkers. The original method includes chromosome 3 specific NotI-microarrays containing 180 NotI clones associated with genes for hybridization with 40 paired normal/tumor DNA samples of primary lung tumors: 28 squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and 12 adenocarcinomas (ADC). The NotI-microarray data were confirmed by qPCR and bisulfite sequencing analyses. Forty-four genes showed methylation and/or deletions in more than 15% of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) samples. In general, SCC samples were more frequently methylated/deleted than ADC. Moreover, the SCC alterations were observed already at stage I of tumor development, whereas in ADC many genes showed tumor progression specific methylation/deletions. Among genes frequently methylated/deleted in NSCLC, only a few were already known tumor suppressor genes: RBSP3 (CTDSPL), VHL and THRB. The RPL32, LOC285205, FGD5 and other genes were previously not shown to be involved in lung carcinogenesis. Ten methylated genes, i.e., IQSEC1, RBSP3, ITGA 9, FOXP1, LRRN1, GNAI2, VHL, FGD5, ALDH1L1 and BCL6 were tested for expression by qPCR and were found downregulated in the majority of cases. Three genes (RBSP3, FBLN2 and ITGA9) demonstrated strong cell growth inhibition activity. A comprehensive statistical analysis suggested the set of 19 gene markers, ANKRD28, BHLHE40, CGGBP1, RBSP3, EPHB1, FGD5, FOXP1, GORASP1/TTC21, IQSEC1, ITGA9, LOC285375, LRRC3B, LRRN1, MITF, NKIRAS1/RPL15, TRH, UBE2E2, VHL, WNT7A, to allow early detection, tumor progression, metastases and to discriminate between SCC and ADC with sensitivity and specificity of 80-100%.

Memarian A, Vosough P, Asgarian-Omran H, et al.
Differential WNT gene expression in various subtypes of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Iran J Immunol. 2012; 9(1):61-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Dysregulation of WNT signaling has been reported in many malignancies.
OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to investigate the expression pattern of 14 members of the WNT gene family in different immunophenotypic subtypes of ALL.
METHODS: Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was performed on samples from 71 ALL patients and 36 age-matched healthy individuals. The ALL patients were categorized into B-ALL (76%), T-ALL (22.6%) and mixed lineage (1.4%) and the B-ALL cases were further classified into pro-B, pre-BI, pre-BII and immature/mature-B based on immuno-phenotypic results.
RESULTS: Among the WNT genes, WNT-7B (p=0.026), WNT-9A (p=0.020) and WNT-16B (p=0.023) were significantly over-expressed, whereas WNT-2B (p=0.033), WNT-5A (p=0.016), WNT-7A (p<0.0001) and WNT-10A (p<0.0001) were down-regulated in B-ALL. Among the T-ALL subtype, however, significant down-regulation of WNT-2B, WNT-5B, WNT-7A, WNT-10A and WNT-11 was evident. Comparison between B-ALL subtypes showed significant over-expression of WNT-7B, WNT-9A and WNT-5B in certain subtypes.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest contribution of the WNT genes in leukemogenesis of ALL.

Ochoa-Hernández AB, Ramos-Solano M, Meza-Canales ID, et al.
Peripheral T-lymphocytes express WNT7A and its restoration in leukemia-derived lymphoblasts inhibits cell proliferation.
BMC Cancer. 2012; 12:60 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: WNT7a, a member of the Wnt ligand family implicated in several developmental processes, has also been reported to be dysregulated in some types of tumors; however, its function and implication in oncogenesis is poorly understood. Moreover, the expression of this gene and the role that it plays in the biology of blood cells remains unclear. In addition to determining the expression of the WNT7A gene in blood cells, in leukemia-derived cell lines, and in samples of patients with leukemia, the aim of this study was to seek the effect of this gene in proliferation.
METHODS: We analyzed peripheral blood mononuclear cells, sorted CD3 and CD19 cells, four leukemia-derived cell lines, and blood samples from 14 patients with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and 19 clinically healthy subjects. Reverse transcription followed by quantitative Real-time Polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis were performed to determine relative WNT7A expression. Restoration of WNT7a was done employing a lentiviral system and by using a recombinant human protein. Cell proliferation was measured by addition of WST-1 to cell cultures.
RESULTS: WNT7a is mainly produced by CD3 T-lymphocytes, its expression decreases upon activation, and it is severely reduced in leukemia-derived cell lines, as well as in the blood samples of patients with ALL when compared with healthy controls (p ≤0.001). By restoring WNT7A expression in leukemia-derived cells, we were able to demonstrate that WNT7a inhibits cell growth. A similar effect was observed when a recombinant human WNT7a protein was used. Interestingly, restoration of WNT7A expression in Jurkat cells did not activate the canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first report evidencing quantitatively decreased WNT7A levels in leukemia-derived cells and that WNT7A restoration in T-lymphocytes inhibits cell proliferation. In addition, our results also support the possible function of WNT7A as a tumor suppressor gene as well as a therapeutic tool.

Yoshioka S, King ML, Ran S, et al.
WNT7A regulates tumor growth and progression in ovarian cancer through the WNT/β-catenin pathway.
Mol Cancer Res. 2012; 10(3):469-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2020 Related Publications
Abnormal activation the WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway has been associated with ovarian carcinomas, but a specific WNT ligand and pertinent downstream mechanisms are not fully understood. In this study, we found abundant WNT7A in the epithelium of serous ovarian carcinomas, but not detected in borderline and benign tumors, normal ovary, or endometrioid carcinomas. To characterize the role of WNT7A in ovarian tumor growth and progression, nude mice were injected either intraperitoneally or subcutaneously with WNT7A knocked down SKOV3.ip1 and overexpressed SKOV3 cells. In the intraperitoneal group, mice receiving SKOV3.ip1 cells with reduced WNT7A expression developed significantly fewer tumor lesions. Gross and histologic examination revealed greatly reduced invasion of WNT7A knockdown cells into intestinal mesentery and serosa compared with the control cells. Tumor growth was regulated by loss or overexpression of WNT7A in mice receiving subcutaneous injection as well. In vitro analysis of cell function revealed that cell proliferation, adhesion, and invasion were regulated by WNT7A. The activity of the T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor (TCF/LEF) reporter was stimulated by overexpression of WNT7A in ovarian cancer cells. Cotransfection with WNT7A and FZD5 receptor further increased activity, and this effect was inhibited by cotransfection with SFRP2 or dominant negative TCF4. Overexpression of WNT7A stimulated matrix metalloproteinase 7 (MMP7) promoter, and mutation of TCF-binding sites in MMP7 promoter confirmed that activation of MMP7 promoter by WNT7A was mediated by β-catenin/TCF signaling. Collectively, these results suggest that reexpression of WNT7A during malignant transformation of ovarian epithelial cells plays a critical role in ovarian cancer progression mediated by WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway.

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] Related Publications
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.

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