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WNT
WNT WNT(7)
Wnt proteins are a large family of glycoproteins that activate at least three different signalling pathways: the canonical or Wnt-β-catenin, the planar cell polarity, and the Wnt-Ca2+ pathways.(1) Wnt signals affect differentiation, polarity, and adhesion.(2) Frizzled-related proteins are G protein-coupled receptors that have regulatory roles during embryonic development that are receptors for Wingless type signaling proteins. In Drosophila melanogaster, the frizzled locus is involved in planar cell polarity, which is the coordination of the cytoskeleton of epidermal cells to produce a parallel array of hairs and bristles. FZD10, also called CD350, is a protein that in humans is encoded by the FZD10 gene. Most frizzled receptors are coupled to the β-catenin canonical signaling pathway.(3)
Trophoblast glycoprotein, also known as TPBG, 5T4, Wnt-Activated Inhibitory Factor 1 or WAIF1, is encoded by a TPBG gene. TPBG is an antagonist of Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway.(4) 5T4 is an antigen expressed in a number of carcinomas, including CRC, ovarian, and gastric.(5) Its confined expression appears to give 5T4 the potential to be useful in cancer immunotherapy. There has been extensive research into its role in antibody-directed immunotherapy through the use of the high-affinity murine mAb, mAb5T4. 5T4 is also the target of the cancer vaccine TroVax which is in clinical trials for the treatment of a range of different solid tumor types.(6)

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References

1. Bovolenta P, Rodriguez J, Esteve P. Frizzled/RYK mediated signalling in axon guidance. Development. 2006;133(22):4399-408.

2. Nusse R. Wnt signaling in disease and in development. Cell research. 2005;15(1):28-32.

3. TJ. M. Mechanism and function of poleward flux in Xenopus extract meiotic spindles. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2005;360(1455):623-9. PMCID: 15897184.

4. Zhao Y, Malinauskas T, Harlos K, Jones EY. Structural Insights into the Inhibition of Wnt Signaling by Cancer Antigen 5T4/Wnt-Activated Inhibitory Factor 1. Structure. 2014;22(4):612-20.

5. Starzynska T, Wiechowska-Kozlowska A, Mariiez K, Bromley M, Roberts SA, Lawniczak M, et al. 5T4 oncofetal antigen in gastric carcinoma and its clinical significance. European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology. 1998;10(6):479-84.

6. TPBG. [cited]; Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TPBG.

7. Malaterre J, Ramsay RG, Mantamadiotis T. Wnt-Frizzled signalling and the many paths to neural development and adult brain homeostasis. Frontiers in bioscience: a journal and virtual library. 2007;12:492.



Friday, September 16, 2016 10:23 AM|Valerie Fako, Zhipeng Yu, Curtis J. Henrich, Tanya Ransom, Anuradha S. Budhu, Xin W. Wang|International Journal of Biological Sciences|Labels: WNT, liver cancer

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common forms of malignant cancers in the world, yet very few effective systemic treatments for HCC patients exist. Thus, the development of new treatment modalities presents a great need. The wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is highly activated in stem cell-like aggressive HCC, which is associated with chemoresistance and poor survival in HCC patients. In a previous study, we found that an FDA-approved psychiatric drug, pimozide (PMZ), has anti-cancer properties in HCC cell lines that express epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), a hepatic stem cell marker that is a functional down-stream target of the wnt/β-catenin pathway. In this study, we demonstrate that PMZ effectively inhibits cell growth of HCC cells by disrupting the wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and reducing EpCAM expression. Thus, PMZ may be a useful molecular entity that could be repurposed as an anti-cancer therapy for treatment of HCC.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 5:53 PM|Feng Zhi, Guangming Gong, Yan Xu, Yan Zhu, Die Hu, Yilin Yang, Yiqiao Hu|International Journal of Biological Sciences|Labels: WNT, brain cancer

Neuroblastoma is an embryonic malignancy arising from neuroblasts. The mechanisms that regulate the origination of neuroblastoma are still not very clear. In this study, we revealed that 6-bromoindirubin 3'-oxime (BIO), a specific GSK-3β inhibitor, promoted N2A cells-derived neurons to become tumor-like neuroblasts. Moreover, constitutively activated β-catenin (S33Y) also promoted this process, whereas, silencing endogenous expression of β-catenin abolished BIO-induced effects. These results implicated the potential relationship between the Wnt/β-catenin signaling and neuroblastoma formation. Indeed, we found that the amount of β-catenin in nucleus, which indicated the activation of Wnt/β-catnin signaling, was accumulated in human neuroblastoma specimens and positively correlated with clinical risk of neuroblastoma. These results give us a new sight into the neuroblastoma initiation and progression, and provide a potential drug target for neuroblastoma treatment.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 5:53 PM|Julia WACHTER, Daniel NEUREITER, Beate ALINGER, Martin PICHLER, Julia FUEREDER, Christian OBERDANNER, Pietro Di FAZIO, Matthias OCKER, Frieder BERR, Tobias KIESSLICH|International Journal of Biological Sciences|Labels: WNT, liver cancer

Background: The role of Wnt signalling in carcinogenesis suggests compounds targeting this pathway as potential anti-cancer drugs. Several studies report activation of Wnt signalling in biliary tract cancer (BTC) thus rendering Wnt inhibitory drugs as potential candidates for targeted therapy of this highly chemoresistant disease.

Methods: In this study we analysed five compounds with suggested inhibitory effects on Wnt signalling (DMAT, FH535, myricetin, quercetin, and TBB) for their cytotoxic efficiency, mode of cell death, time- and cell line-dependent characteristics as well as their effects on Wnt pathway activity in nine different BTC cell lines.

Results: Exposure of cancer cells to different concentrations of the compounds results in a clear dose-dependent reduction of viability for all drugs in the order FH535 > DMAT > TBB > myricetin > quercetin. The first three substances show high cytotoxicity in all tested cell lines, cause a direct cytotoxic effect by induction of apoptosis and inhibit pathway-specific signal transduction in a Wnt transcription factor reporter activity assay. Selected target genes such as growth-promoting cyclin D1 and the cell cycle progression inhibitor p27 are down- and up-regulated after treatment, respectively.

Conclusions: Taken together, these data demonstrate that the small molecular weight inhibitors DMAT, F535 and TBB have a considerable cytotoxic and possibly Wnt-specific effect on BTC cell lines in vitro. Further in vivo investigation of these drugs as well as of new Wnt inhibitors may provide a promising approach for targeted therapy of this difficult-to-treat tumour.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 7:55 AM|DO CARMO, N. G., SAKAMOTO, L. H. T., POGUE, R., DO COUTO MASCARENHAS, C., PASSOS, S. K., FELIPE, M. S. S., DE ANDRADE, R. V.|Anticancer Research recent issues|Labels: Hh/SMO, WNT

Background/Aim: Nodular and superficial are the most common subtypes of basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Signaling pathways such as Hedgehog (HH) and Wingless (WNT) signaling are associated with BCC phenotypic variation. The aim of the study was to evaluate of the expression profiles of 84 genes related to the WNT and HH signaling pathways in patients with nodular and superficial BCC. Materials and Methods: A total of 58 BCCs and 13 samples of normal skin were evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to detect the gene-expression profile. Results: qPCR array showed segregation in BCC subtypes compared to healthy skin. PRKX, WNT3 and WNT16 were significantly (p<0.05) altered: PRKX was up-regulated, and WNT3 and WNT16 were down-regulated in nodular BCC. Conclusion: PRKX, WNT3 and WNT16 genes, belonging to the WNT signaling pathway, are involved in the tumorigenic process of nodular BCC.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 11:38 PM|Cheng-Zhi Qiu, Ming-Zhen Wang, Wai-Shi Yu, Yan-Ta Guo, Chun-Xiao Wang, Xiao-Feng Yang|Journal of Cancer|Labels: AKT, WNT, CRC

Objective: Overexpression of GOLPH3 in colorectal cancer tissue may promote cell proliferation and activate the Wnt signaling pathway. We investigated the correlation between GOLPH3 gene expression and the Wnt signaling pathway to explore the mechanism of the overexpression of GOLPH3 gene which promotes proliferation in human colon cancer cells.

Methods: We measured expression of GOLPH3 mRNA in the human colon cancer cell lines HCT116, HT29, SW480 and SW620 by RT-PCR, and the cells with the highest expression were selected and divided into four groups: negative control, GOLPH3 siRNA transfection (siRNA-GOLPH3), Akt inhibitor (Tricinbine), and glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3β inhibitor (TWS119). After human colon cancer cells were transfected with siRNA-GOLPH3, we used RT-PCR to investigate the silencing effect of GOLPH3 gene. We assessed the activity of the Wnt signaling pathway in all groups using the Topflash method. Proliferation and apoptosis of colon cancer SW620 cells were detected by MTT assay, colony formation assay and flow cytometry. Expression of Golgi phosphoprotein (GOLPH)3, β-catenin, GSK-3β and pS9-GSK-3β in cancer cells was determined by Western blotting.

Results: SW620 cells expressed the highest level of GOLPH3 mRNA, and the silence effect was good after they were transfected with siRNA-GOLPH3. The relative luminescence units (RLU) values in the experimental groups were significantly lower than in the negative control group (P<0.001). There was no significant difference in the RLU values among the experimental groups (P> 0.05). The growth inhibition ratio and apoptosis rate of cancer cells in each experimental group were significantly higher than those in the control group, and the cell colony count in the experimental group was significantly lower than in the control group (P<0.05). In addition, the RLU value, proliferation and apoptosis rate of cancer cells did not differ significantly between each two experimental groups. Western blotting showed that, compared with the control group, expression of β-catenin and pS9-GSK3 proteins were significantly decreased in the experimental group. Expression of GSK-3β in the experimental group did not different from that of the control group.

Conclusions: Overexpression of GOLPH3 gene activated the Wnt signaling pathway, as well as increasing expression of β-catenin, promoting proliferation and inhibiting apoptosis in human colon cancer cells. The mechanism of action was that overexpression of GOLPH3 gene activated Akt, which may also further activate the Wnt signaling pathway via GSK-3β, and promote proliferation in human colon cancer cells.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 11:38 PM|Kamal Datta, Shubhankar Suman, Santosh Kumar, Albert J Fornace|Journal of Cancer|Labels: proteasome, WNT, CRC

Adult colorectal epithelium undergoes continuous renewal and maintains homeostatic balance through regulated cellular proliferation, differentiation, and migration. The canonical Wnt signaling pathway involving the transcriptional co-activator β-catenin is important for colorectal development and normal epithelial maintenance, and deregulated Wnt/β-catenin signaling has been implicated in colorectal carcinogenesis. Colorectal carcinogenesis has been linked to radiation exposure, and radiation has been demonstrated to alter Wnt/β-catenin signaling, as well as the proteasomal pathway involved in the degradation of the signaling components and thus regulation of β-catenin. The current review discusses recent progresses in our understanding of colorectal carcinogenesis in relation to different types of radiation and roles that radiation quality plays in deregulating β-catenin and ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) for colorectal cancer initiation and progression.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 10:05 PM|Jackson, H., Granger, D., Jones, G., Anderson, L., Friel, S., Rycroft, D., Fieles, W., Tunstead, J., Steward, M., Wattam, T., Walker, A., Griggs, J., Al-Hajj, M., Shelton, C.|Molecular Cancer Research recent issues|Labels: WNT

Aberrant WNT signaling is associated with the formation and growth of numerous human cancer types. The low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6) is the least redundant component of the WNT receptor complex with two independent WNT ligand-binding sites. Using domain antibody (dAb) technology, a bispecific antibody (GSK3178022) to LRP6 was identified that is capable of blocking stimulation in the presence of a range of WNT and R-spondin (RSPO) ligands in vitro. GSK3178022 was also efficacious in reducing WNT target gene expression in vivo, in both cancer cell line and patient-derived xenograft models, and delays tumor growth in a patient-derived RSPO fusion model of colorectal cancer.

Implications: This article demonstrates the inhibition of a key oncogenic receptor, intractable to mAb inhibition due to multiple independent ligand interaction sites, using an innovative dAb approach. Mol Cancer Res; 14(9); 859–68. ©2016 AACR.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Gang He, Xingying Guan, Xuedan Chen, Yan Wang, Chao Luo, Bo Zhang|Journal of Cancer (RSS 2.0)|Labels: WNT, esophageal cancer

Objective: The human T cell transcription factor-4 (TCF4) interacts functionally with β-catenin in the Wnt signaling pathway, whose deregulation is involved in the tumorigenesis of various types of cancers. Recent studies showed that TCF4 mRNAs were subject to alternative splicing, which was proposed to be important in regulating transactivational properties of the corresponding protein isoforms. Here we investigated the splicing isoforms and the roles of TCF4 in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Methods: RT-PCR and subsequent cloning and sequencing were applied to identify the splicing isoforms. Western blotting and realtime PCR were used to analyze the expression of TCF4. Knockdown of TCF4 was achieved with siRNA and stable transfection of expression vectors was performed.

Results: Our results showed there were a lot of different isoforms of TCF4 mRNA both in human esophageal cancers and cell line. Further, knockdown of TCF4E isoform expression in EC109 cells inhibited the cell growth, while overexpression of TCF4M isoform did not alter its transcription activity. Moreover, sixteen potential binding proteins of TCF4 were preliminarily identified by mass spectrometry.

Conclusions: Our data suggested that deregulation of TCF4 isoforms may contribute to the tumorigenesis of ESCC.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Swatishree Padhi, Arka Saha, Madhabananda Kar, Chinmoy Ghosh, Amit Adhya, Manas Baisakh, Nachiketa Mohapatra, Shriram Venkatesan, Manoor Prakash Hande, Birendranath Banerjee|Journal of Cancer (RSS 2.0)|Labels: WNT, HNN

Background: Tumorigenesis is a complex process of accumulated alteration in function of multiple genes and pathways. Wnt signalling pathway is involved in various differentiation events during embryonic development and is conserved in various species.

Objective: A multicentre collaborative initiative is undertaken to study the occurrence, prognosis and molecular mechanism of HNSCC (Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma) which is highly prevalent in eastern parts of India. From a large cohort of HNSCC tissue repository, 67 cases were selected for multi-parametric investigation.

Results: 67 cases showed stable β-catenin expression. We have seen correlation, if any, of the transcription factor - β-catenin, telomere maintenance and shelterin complex proteins - TRF2, Rap1 and hTert with respect to tumor differentiation and telomere dysfunction. Immunohistochemistry of β-catenin protein showed stable and high expression in tumor when compared to stroma. MDSCC (Moderately Differentiated Squamous cell carcinoma) cases expressed nuclear expression of β-catenin in invasive fronts and showed increased genomic instability. Higher frequency of Anaphase bridges was observed ranging from <3% in normal cut margin to 13% in WDSCC (Well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma) and 18% in MDSCC (Moderately differentiated Squamous cell carcinoma). There was significant decrease in telomere length in MDSCC (<4) when compared to the normal cut margin samples (<7). Quantitative Real Time-PCR confirmed a significant correlationship between stable β-catenin expression and poor clinical and pathological outcome.

Conclusion: The Stabilisation and accumulation of β-catenin was significant and correlated well with de-differentiation process as well as prognosis and therapy outcome of the patients in the cohort. Expression status of molecular markers such as β-catenin, hTert, TRF2 and RAP1 correlate significantly with the process of tumorigenesis and prognosis and may play a role in therapeutic management of Head and neck patients.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Artur Jurczyszyn, Anna Zebzda, Jacek Czepiel, Joanna Gdula-Argasińska, William Perucki, Aleksander B. Skotnicki, Marcin Majka|Journal of Cancer (RSS 2.0)|Labels: WNT, MM

The bone marrow microenvironment plays a key role in the stimulation of growth and survival of multiple myeloma (MM) cells. We investigated whether membrane microfragments (MFBs) exert a stimulatory effect on mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) gene expression or differentiation. MSCs from patients with multiple myeloma (MMBM-MSCs) proliferated at a slower rate than MSCs from healthy volunteers (BM-MSCs), and fewer MMBM-MSCs adhered to the substrate as compared to BM-MSCs. Phenotypic analysis revealed that MMBM-MSCs and BM-MSCs differed significantly in terms of their CD166 and CXCR4 expressions. In conclusion, our comparative analysis of mesenchymal cells from MM patients and healthy volunteers revealed differences in the genetic and phenotypic profiles of these two populations, their potential for osteodifferentiation, and expression of surface antigens. Moreover, we showed that membrane MFBs may alter the genetic profile of MSCs, leading to disorders of their osteodifferentiation, and interact with the WNT pathway via presentation of the DKK-1 protein.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Michael Bordonaro|Journal of Cancer|Labels: WNT, CRC

RNA processing involves a variety of processes affecting gene expression, including the removal of introns through RNA splicing, as well as 3' end processing (cleavage and polyadenylation). Alternative RNA processing is fundamentally important for gene regulation, and aberrant processing is associated with the initiation and progression of cancer. Deregulated Wnt signaling, which is the initiating event in the development of most cases of human colorectal cancer (CRC), has been linked to modified RNA processing, which may contribute to Wnt-mediated colonic carcinogenesis. Crosstalk between Wnt signaling and alternative RNA splicing with relevance to CRC includes effects on the expression of Rac1b, an alternatively spliced gene associated with tumorigenesis, which exhibits alternative RNA splicing that is influenced by Wnt activity. In addition, Tcf4, a crucial component of Wnt signaling, also exhibits alternative splicing, which is likely involved in colonic tumorigenesis. Modulation of 3' end formation, including of the Wnt target gene COX-2, also can influence the neoplastic process, with implications for CRC. While many human genes are dependent on introns and splicing for normal levels of gene expression, naturally intronless genes exist with a unique metabolism that allows for intron-independent gene expression. Effects of Wnt activity on the RNA metabolism of the intronless Wnt-target gene c-jun is a likely contributor to cancer development. Further, butyrate, a breakdown product of dietary fiber and a histone deacetylase inhibitor, upregulates Wnt activity in CRC cells, and also modulates RNA processing; therefore, the interplay between Wnt activity, the modulation of this activity by butyrate, and differential RNA metabolism in colonic cells can significantly influence tumorigenesis. Determining the role played by altered RNA processing in Wnt-mediated neoplasia may lead to novel interventions aimed at restoring normal RNA metabolism for therapeutic benefit. Therefore, this minireview presents a brief overview of several aspects of RNA processing of relevance to cancer, which potentially influence, or are influenced by, Wnt signaling activity.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Darina L Lazarova, Terrence Wong, Christopher Chiaro, Eric Drago, Michael Bordonaro|Journal of Cancer|Labels: WNT, CRC

Deregulated WNT/catenin pathway, usually resulting from mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli and beta-catenin genes, drives colorectal tumorigenesis. Dietary fiber has been shown to have a protective role against colorectal cancer (CRC). We have previously demonstrated that the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) butyrate, a fermentation product of dietary fiber, induces WNT/catenin hyperactivation, which promotes CRC cell apoptosis. Therefore, the ability of butyrate to induce WNT hyperactivation and thus promote CRC cell apoptosis may in part explain the preventive function of fiber against CRC. The association between beta-catenin and the transcriptional coactivator p300 may influence WNT/catenin signaling and, therefore, colonic cell physiology. p300 functions as a histone acetylase (HAT); therefore, the modulation of WNT/catenin activity by p300 may influence the ability of the HDACi butyrate to hyperinduce WNT signaling and apoptosis in CRC cells. Our findings indicate that p300 affects the hyperinduction of WNT activity by butyrate. Knockdown of p300 levels represses butyrate-mediated WNT/catenin activity; but still allows for butyrate-mediated apoptosis. Overexpression of p300 stimulates basal and butyrate-induced WNT signaling in some, but not all, CRC cell lines. We also evaluate the role of p300 in therapeutic approaches that target CBP. The small molecule ICG-001, in clinical trial, is a specific inhibitor of CBP-mediated WNT signaling, and previous studies have suggested that p300 is required for the activity of ICG-001. However, we report that ICG-001 maintains full activity against CBP-mediated WNT signaling in p300-deficient cell lines, including the butyrate-resistance line HCT-R. In addition, our findings evaluating combinatorial treatment of ICG-001 and butyrate in HCT-R cells may have important therapeutic implications for the treatment of butyrate-resistant CRCs.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Darina L Lazarova, Christopher Chiaro, Terrence Wong, Eric Drago, Anthony Rainey, Shannon O'Malley, Michael Bordonaro|Journal of Cancer|Labels: HDAC, WNT, CRC

Mutations in the WNT/beta-catenin pathway are responsible for initiating the majority of colorectal cancers (CRCs). We have previously shown that hyperactivation of this signaling by histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) such as butyrate, a fermentation product of dietary fiber, promotes CRC cell apoptosis. The extent of association between beta-catenin and the transcriptional coactivator CREB-binding protein (CBP) influences WNT/catenin signaling and, therefore, colonic cell physiology. CBP functions as a histone acetylase (HAT); therefore, we hypothesized that the modulation of WNT/catenin activity by CBP modifies the ability of the HDACi butyrate to hyperinduce WNT signaling and apoptosis in CRC cells. Our findings indicate that CBP affects the hyperinduction of WNT activity by butyrate. ICG-001, which specifically blocks association between CBP and beta-catenin, abrogates the butyrate-triggered increase in the number of CRC cells with high levels of WNT/catenin signaling. Combination treatment of CRC cells with ICG-001 and butyrate results in cell type-specific effects on apoptosis. Further, both butyrate and ICG-001 repress CRC cell proliferation, with additive effects in suppressing cell growth. Our study strongly suggests that ICG-001-like agents would be effective against butyrate/HDACi-resistant CRC cells. Therefore, ICG-001-like agents may represent an important therapeutic option for CRCs that exhibit low-fold hyperactivation of WNT activity and apoptosis in the presence of HDACis. The findings generated from this study may lead to approaches that utilize modulation of CBP activity to facilitate CRC therapeutic or chemopreventive strategies.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Hong-Wu Xin, Chenwi M. Ambe, Satyajit Ray, Bo-Kyu Kim, Tomotake Koizumi, Gordon W. Wiegand, Danielle Hari, John E. Mullinax, Kshama R. Jaiswal, Susan H. Garfield, Alexander Stojadinovic, Udo Rudloff, Snorri S. Thorgeirsson, Itzhak Avital|Journal of Cancer|Labels: WNT, gastric

Objective: Stem-like cancer cells contribute to cancer initiation and maintenance. Stem cells can self-renew by asymmetric cell division (ACD). ACD with non-random chromosomal cosegregation (ACD-NRCC) is one possible self-renewal mechanism. There is a paucity of evidence supporting ACD-NRCC in human cancer. Our aim was to investigate ACD-NRCC and its potential interactions with the cancer niche (microenvironment) in gastrointestinal cancers.

Design: We used DNA double and single labeling approaches with FACS to isolate live cells undergoing ACD-NRCC.

Results: Gastrointestinal cancers contain rare subpopulations of cells capable of ACD-NRCC. ACD-NRCC was detected preferentially in subpopulations of cells previously suggested to be stem-like/tumor-initiating cancer cells. ACD-NRCC was independent of cell-to-cell contact, and was regulated by the cancer niche in a heat-sensitive paracrine fashion. Wnt pathway genes and proteins are differentially expressed in cells undergoing ACD-NRCC vs. symmetric cell division. Blocking the Wnt pathway with IWP2 (WNT antagonist) or siRNA-TCF4 resulted in suppression of ACD-NRCC. However, using a Wnt-agonist did not increase the relative proportion of cells undergoing ACD-NRCC.

Conclusion: Gastrointestinal cancers contain subpopulations of cells capable of ACD-NRCC. Here we show for the first time that ACD-NRCC can be regulated by the Wnt pathway, and by the cancer niche in a paracrine fashion. However, whether ACD-NRCC is exclusively associated with stem-like cancer cells remains to be determined. Further study of these findings might generate novel insights into stem cell and cancer biology. Targeting the mechanism of ACD-NRCC might engender novel approaches for cancer therapy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 7:50 PM|Current Opinion in Cell Biology - Top Cited|Labels: WNT
The functional versatility of Wnt/β-catenin signaling can be seen by its ability to act in stem cells of the embryo and of the adult as well as in cancer stem cells. During embryogenesis, stem cells demonstrate a requirement for β-catenin in mediating the response to Wnt signaling for their maintenance and transition from a pluripotent state. In adult stem cells, Wnt signaling functions at various hierarchical levels to contribute to specification of different tissues. This has raised the possibility that the tightly regulated self-renewal mediated by Wnt signaling in stem and progenitor cells is subverted in cancer cells to allow malignant progression. Intensive work is currently being performed to resolve how intrinsic and extrinsic factors that regulate Wnt/β-catenin signaling coordinate the stem and cancer stem cell states. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 6:00 PM|Ge Li|International Journal of Molecular Sciences|Labels: WNT
The metanephric mesenchyme (MM) cells are a subset of kidney progenitor cells and play an essential role in mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET), the key step of nephron generation. Six2, a biological marker related to Wnt signaling pathway, promotes the proliferation, inhibits the apoptosis and maintains the un-differentiation of MM cells. Besides, LiCl is an activator of Wnt signaling pathway. However, the role of LiCl in cellular regulation of MM cells remains unclear, and the relationship between LiCl and Six2 in this process is also little known. Here, we performed EdU assay and flow cytometry assay to, respectively, detect the proliferation and apoptosis of MM cells treated with LiCl of increasing dosages. In addition, reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and Western-blot were conducted to measure the expression of Six2 and some maker genes of Wnt and bone-morphogenetic-protein (BMP) signaling pathway. Furthermore, luciferase assay was also carried out to detect the transcriptional regulation of Six2. Then we found LiCl promoted MM cell proliferation at low-concentration (10, 20, 30, and 40 mM). The expression of Six2 was dose-dependently increased in low-concentration (10, 20, 30, and 40 mM) at both mRNA and protein level. In addition, both of cell proliferation and Six2 expression in MM cells declined when dosage reached high-concentration (50 mM). However, Six2 knock-down converted the proliferation reduction at 50 mM. Furthermore, Six2 deficiency increased the apoptosis of MM cells, compared with negative control cells at relative LiCl concentration. However, the abnormal rise of apoptosis at 30 mM of LiCl concentration implies that it might be the reduction of GSK3β that increased cell apoptosis. Together, these demonstrate that LiCl can induce the proliferation and apoptosis of MM cells coordinating with Six2.
Thursday, September 1, 2016 10:05 PM|Abu Aboud, O., Chen, C.-H., Senapedis, W., Baloglu, E., Argueta, C., Weiss, R. H.|Molecular Cancer Therapeutics current issue|Labels: WNT, kidney cancer

Kidney cancer (or renal cell carcinoma, RCC) is the sixth most common malignancy in the United States and one of the relatively few whose incidence is increasing. Because of the near universal resistance which occurs with the use of current treatment regimens, reprogrammed metabolic pathways are being investigated as potential targets for novel therapies of this disease. Borrowing from studies on other malignancies, we have identified the PAK4 and NAD biosynthetic pathways as being essential for RCC growth. We now show, using the dual PAK4/NAMPT inhibitor KPT-9274, that interference with these signaling pathways results in reduction of G2–M transit as well as induction of apoptosis and decrease in cell invasion and migration in several human RCC cell lines. Mechanistic studies demonstrate that inhibition of the PAK4 pathway by KPT-9274 attenuates nuclear β-catenin as well as the Wnt/β-catenin targets cyclin D1 and c-Myc. Furthermore, NAPRT1 downregulation, which we show occurs in all RCC cell lines tested, makes this tumor highly dependent on NAMPT for its NAD requirements, such that inhibition of NAMPT by KPT-9274 leads to decreased survival of these rapidly proliferating cells. When KPT-9274 was administered in vivo to a 786-O (VHL-mut) human RCC xenograft model, there was dose-dependent inhibition of tumor growth with no apparent toxicity; KPT-9274 demonstrated the expected on-target effects in this mouse model. KPT-9274 is being evaluated in a phase I human clinical trial in solid tumors and lymphomas, which will allow this data to be rapidly translated into the clinic for the treatment of RCC. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(9); 2119–29. ©2016 AACR.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 10:05 PM|Pedersen, E. A., Menon, R., Bailey, K. M., Thomas, D. G., Van Noord, R. A., Tran, J., Wang, H., Qu, P. P., Hoering, A., Fearon, E. R., Chugh, R., Lawlor, E. R.|Cancer Research recent issues|Labels: WNT, childhood cancer, sarcoma, preclinical
Ewing sarcomas are characterized by the presence of EWS/ETS fusion genes in the absence of other recurrent genetic alterations and mechanisms of tumor heterogeneity that contribute to disease progression remain unclear. Mutations in the Wnt/β-catenin pathway are rare in Ewing sarcoma but the Wnt pathway modulator LGR5 is often highly expressed, suggesting a potential role for the axis in tumor pathogenesis. We evaluated β-catenin and LGR5 expression in Ewing sarcoma cell lines and tumors and noted marked intra- and inter-tumor heterogeneity. Tumors with evidence of active Wnt/β-catenin signaling were associated with increased incidence of tumor relapse and worse overall survival. Paradoxically, RNA sequencing revealed a marked antagonism of EWS/ETS transcriptional activity in Wnt/β-catenin–activated tumor cells. Consistent with this, Wnt/β-catenin–activated cells displayed a phenotype that was reminiscent of Ewing sarcoma cells with partial EWS/ETS loss of function. Specifically, activation of Wnt/β-catenin induced alterations to the actin cytoskeleton, acquisition of a migratory phenotype, and upregulation of EWS/ETS–repressed genes. Notably, activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling led to marked induction of tenascin C (TNC), an established promoter of cancer metastasis, and an EWS/ETS–repressed target gene. Loss of TNC function in Ewing sarcoma cells profoundly inhibited their migratory and metastatic potential. Our studies reveal that heterogeneous activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in subpopulations of tumor cells contributes to phenotypic heterogeneity and disease progression in Ewing sarcoma. Significantly, this is mediated, at least in part, by inhibition of EWS/ETS fusion protein function that results in derepression of metastasis-associated gene programs. Cancer Res; 76(17); 5040–53. ©2016 AACR.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 10:05 PM|Sandhu, V., Wedge, D. C., Bowitz Lothe, I. M., Labori, K. J., Dentro, S. C., Buanes, T., Skrede, M. L., Dalsgaard, A. M., Munthe, E., Myklebost, O., Lingȷarde, O. C., Borresen–Dale, A.–L., Ikdahl, T., Van Loo, P., Nord, S., Kure, E. H.|Cancer Research recent issues|Labels: P53, WNT, pancreatic cancer, preclinical
Despite advances in diagnostics, less than 5% of patients with periampullary tumors experience an overall survival of five years or more. Periampullary tumors are neoplasms that arise in the vicinity of the ampulla of Vater, an enlargement of liver and pancreas ducts where they join and enter the small intestine. In this study, we analyzed copy number aberrations using Affymetrix SNP 6.0 arrays in 60 periampullary adenocarcinomas from Oslo University Hospital to identify genome-wide copy number aberrations, putative driver genes, deregulated pathways, and potential prognostic markers. Results were validated in a separate cohort derived from The Cancer Genome Atlas Consortium (n = 127). In contrast to many other solid tumors, periampullary adenocarcinomas exhibited more frequent genomic deletions than gains. Genes in the frequently codeleted region 17p13 and 18q21/22 were associated with cell cycle, apoptosis, and p53 and Wnt signaling. By integrating genomics and transcriptomics data from the same patients, we identified CCNE1 and ERBB2 as candidate driver genes. Morphologic subtypes of periampullary adenocarcinomas (i.e., pancreatobiliary or intestinal) harbor many common genomic aberrations. However, gain of 13q and 3q, and deletions of 5q were found specific to the intestinal subtype. Our study also implicated the use of the PAM50 classifier in identifying a subgroup of patients with a high proliferation rate, which had impaired survival. Furthermore, gain of 18p11 (18p11.21-23, 18p11.31-32) and 19q13 (19q13.2, 19q13.31-32) and subsequent overexpression of the genes in these loci were associated with impaired survival. Our work identifies potential prognostic markers for periampullary tumors, the genetic characterization of which has lagged. Cancer Res; 76(17); 5092–102. ©2016 AACR.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 6:00 PM|Terence Van Raay|Cancers|Labels: WNT
The Wnt signaling pathway is intricately involved in many aspects of development and is the root cause of an increasing number of diseases. For example, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death in the industrialized world and aberration of Wnt signaling within the colonic stem cell is the cause of more than 90% of these cancers. Despite our advances in successfully targeting other pathways, such as Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2), there are no clinically relevant therapies available for Wnt-related diseases. Here, we investigated where research activities are focused with respect to Wnt signaling modulators by searching the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) for patents and patent applications related to Wnt modulators and compared this to clinical trials focusing on Wnt modulation. We found that while the transition of intellectual property surrounding the Wnt ligand-receptor interface to clinical trials is robust, this is not true for specific inhibitors of β-catenin, which is constitutively active in many cancers. Considering the ubiquitous use of the synthetic T-cell Factor/Lymphoid Enhancer Factor (TCF/Lef) reporter system and its success in identifying novel modulators in vitro, we speculate that this model of drug discovery does not capture the complexity of in vivo Wnt signaling that may be required if we are to successfully target the Wnt pathway in the clinic. Notwithstanding, increasingly more complex models are being developed, which may not be high throughput, but more pragmatic in our pursuit to control Wnt signaling.
Sunday, August 28, 2016 6:00 PM|Crislyn D’Souza-Schorey|Cancers|Labels: WNT
The importance of canonical and non-canonical Wnt signal transduction cascades in embryonic development and tissue homeostasis is well recognized. The aberrant activation of these pathways in the adult leads to abnormal cellular behaviors, and tumor progression is frequently a consequence. Here we discuss recent findings and analogies between Wnt signaling in developmental processes and tumor progression, with a particular focus on cell motility and matrix invasion and highlight the roles of the ARF (ADP-Ribosylation Factor) and Rho-family small GTP-binding proteins. Wnt-regulated signal transduction from cell surface receptors, signaling endosomes and/or extracellular vesicles has the potential to profoundly influence cell movement, matrix degradation and paracrine signaling in both development and disease.
Thursday, August 25, 2016 6:00 PM|Karin Pike-Overzet|Cancers|Labels: WNT, leukemia
The Wnt signaling pathway is essential in the development and homeostasis of blood and immune cells, but its exact role is still controversial and is the subject of intense research. The malignant counterpart of normal hematopoietic cells, leukemic (stem) cells, have hijacked the Wnt pathway for their self-renewal and proliferation. Here we review the multiple ways dysregulated Wnt signaling can contribute to leukemogenesis, both cell autonomously as well as by changes in the microenvironment.
Thursday, August 25, 2016 6:00 PM|M. Stack|Cancers|Labels: WNT
Wnt5a is involved in activating several non-canonical WNT signaling pathways, through binding to different members of the Frizzled- and Ror-family receptors. Wnt5a signaling is critical for regulating normal developmental processes, including proliferation, differentiation, migration, adhesion and polarity. However, the aberrant activation or inhibition of Wnt5a signaling is emerging as an important event in cancer progression, exerting both oncogenic and tumor suppressive effects. Recent studies show the involvement of Wnt5a in regulating cancer cell invasion, metastasis, metabolism and inflammation. In this article, we review findings regarding the molecular mechanisms and roles of Wnt5a signaling in various cancer types, and highlight Wnt5a in ovarian cancer.
Thursday, August 25, 2016 2:25 AM|Yong-Tao Yang, Yu-Fan Wang, Ju-Yi Lai, Shi-Yue Shen, Feng Wang, Jie Kong, Wei Zhang, Hong-Yu Yang|Cancer Science|Labels: WNT, pharyngeal
With the development of the functional genomics studies, a mass of long non-coding RNAs (LncRNA) were discovered from the human genome. LncRNAs serve as pivotal regulator of genes, which are able to generate LncRNA-binding-protein complexes to modulate a great many of genes. Recently, the LncRNA urothelial carcinoma-associated 1 (UCA1) has been revealed to be dysregulated, which plays a critical role in the development of a few cancers. However, the role of biology and clinical signification of UCA1 in the tumorigenesis of oral squamous carcinoma (OSCC) remain unknown. Hereof, we found that UCA1 expression levels were upregulated aberrantly in TSCC tissues and associated with lymph node metastasis (LNM) and TNM stage. We explored the expression, function and molecular mechanism of LncRNA-UCA1 in the oral squamous cell carcinoma. In the present work, we demonstrated that UCA1 silencing suppressived the proliferation and metastasis, induced apoptosis of OSCC cell lines in vitro and in vivo, which might be related to the activation level of WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway. To sum up, our research results emphasize the pivotal role of UCA1 in the oncogenesis of OSCC and, revealed a novel LncRNA UCA1-β-catenin-WNT signaling pathway regulatory network, which may contribute to our understanding in the pathogenesis of OSCC and discover a viable LncRNA-directed diagnostic and therapeutic strategy for this fatal disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Friday, August 19, 2016 6:00 PM|Alfred Cheng|Cancers|Labels: WNT, liver cancer
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), characterized by fat accumulation in liver, is closely associated with central obesity, over-nutrition and other features of metabolic syndrome, which elevate the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a significant role in the physiology and pathology of liver. Up to half of HCC patients have activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. However, the mutation frequencies of CTNNB1 (encoding β-catenin protein) or other antagonists targeting Wnt/β-catenin signaling are low in HCC patients, suggesting that genetic mutations are not the major factor driving abnormal β-catenin activities in HCC. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that obesity-induced metabolic pathways can deregulate chromatin modifiers such as histone deacetylase 8 to trigger undesired global epigenetic changes, thereby modifying gene expression program which contributes to oncogenic signaling. This review focuses on the aberrant epigenetic activation of Wnt/β-catenin in the development of NAFLD-associated HCC. A deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying such deregulation may shed light on the identification of novel druggable epigenetic targets for the prevention and/or treatment of HCC in obese and diabetic patients.
Sunday, August 14, 2016 10:05 PM|West, D. C., Pan, D., Tonsing-Carter, E. Y., Hernandez, K. M., Pierce, C. F., Styke, S. C., Bowie, K. R., Garcia, T. I., Kocherginsky, M., Conzen, S. D.|Molecular Cancer Research recent issues|Labels: WNT, breast cancer, preclinical

In estrogen receptor (ER)–negative breast cancer, high tumor glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression has been associated with a relatively poor outcome. In contrast, using a meta-analysis of several genomic datasets, here we find that tumor GR mRNA expression is associated with improved ER+ relapse-free survival (RFS; independently of progesterone receptor expression). To understand the mechanism by which GR expression is associated with a better ER+ breast cancer outcome, the global effect of GR-mediated transcriptional activation in ER+ breast cancer cells was studied. Analysis of GR chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing in ER+/GR+ MCF-7 cells revealed that upon coactivation of GR and ER, GR chromatin association became enriched at proximal promoter regions. Furthermore, following ER activation, increased GR chromatin association was observed at ER, FOXO, and AP1 response elements. In addition, ER associated with GR response elements, suggesting that ER and GR interact in a complex. Coactivation of GR and ER resulted in increased expression (relative to ER activation alone) of transcripts that encode proteins promoting cellular differentiation (e.g., KDM4B, VDR) and inhibiting the Wnt signaling pathway (IGFBP4). Finally, expression of these individual prodifferentiation genes was associated with significantly improved RFS in ER+ breast cancer patients. Together, these data suggest that the coexpression and subsequent activity of tumor cell GR and ER contribute to the less aggressive natural history of early-stage breast cancer by coordinating the altered expression of genes favoring differentiation.

Implications: The interaction between ER and GR activity highlights the importance of context-dependent nuclear receptor function in cancer. Mol Cancer Res; 14(8); 707–19. ©2016 AACR.

Sunday, August 14, 2016 10:05 PM|Rusert, J. M., Garancher, A., Udaka, Y. T., Brabetz, S., Esparza, L. A., Seker-Cin, H., Qi, L., Kogiso, M., Schubert, S., Milde, T., Cho, Y.-J., Li, X.-N., Olson, J. M., Crawford, J. R., Levy, M. L., Kool, M., Pfister, S. M., Wechsler-Reya, R. J.|Clinical Cancer Research recent issues|Labels: WNT, brain cancer, preclinical

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. Even with an intensive regimen of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, one-third of patients still die from their disease. Moreover, survivors suffer devastating side effects including cognitive deficits, endocrine disorders and an increased incidence of secondary cancers later in life. Thus, more effective and less toxic therapies are desperately needed. Recent genomic analyses have identified 4 major subgroups of MB—WNT, SHH, Group 3 and Group 4—that differ in terms of mutations, gene expression profiles and patient outcomes. Despite this heterogeneity, all MB patients currently receive the same therapy. To identify novel therapies for each subgroup of MB, we have assembled a diverse panel of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) lines. These lines, established by orthotopic transplantation of tumor cells obtained from surgery, recapitulate the properties of patients' tumors more accurately than cultured cell lines. We are using these PDX lines to screen small molecule libraries and identify compounds that can inhibit tumor growth and survival. To date we have completed screening of 18 lines, including 10 representing Group 3 MB, the most aggressive and lethal form of the disease. Among the ~7800 compounds tested, we have found 20 that are effective against the majority of Group 3 PDX lines. Ongoing studies are focused on validating the activity of these compounds against additional Group 3 lines and moving the most promising ones forward into in vivo efficacy studies. Similar approaches will be pursued for each of the other subgroups of MB. Drug response data will also be compared with genomic and epigenomic data (whole exome and low coverage whole genome DNA sequencing, DNA methylation analysis, and gene expression profiling) to identify biomarkers of drug responsiveness and key pathways that may be exploited for therapy. Based on these studies, we hope to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach, and begin to treat each patient with therapies that are likely to be effective against their tumor.

Citation Format: Jessica M. Rusert, Alexandra Garancher, Yoko T. Udaka, Sebastian Brabetz, Lourdes A. Esparza, Huriye Seker-Cin, Lin Qi, Mari Kogiso, Simone Schubert, Till Milde, Yoon-Jae Cho, Xiao-Nan Li, James M. Olson, John R. Crawford, Michael L. Levy, Marcel Kool, Stefan M. Pfister, Robert J. Wechsler-Reya. Chemi-genomic analysis of patient-derived xenografts to identify personalized therapies for medulloblastoma. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Special Conference: Patient-Derived Cancer Models: Present and Future Applications from Basic Science to the Clinic; Feb 11-14, 2016; New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Clin Cancer Res 2016;22(16_Suppl):Abstract nr B37.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 6:00 PM|Ken Cadigan|Cancers|Labels: WNT, CRC
T-cell Factor/Lymphoid Enhancer Factor (TCF/LEF) transcription factors are major regulators of Wnt targets, and the products of the TCF7 and TCF7L2 genes have both been implicated in the progression of colorectal cancer in animal models and humans. TCFs recognize specific DNA sequences through their high mobility group (HMG) domains, but invertebrate TCFs and some isoforms of vertebrate TCF7 and TCF7L2 contain a second DNA binding domain known as the C-clamp. This review will cover the basic properties of C-clamps and their importance in Wnt signaling, using data from Drosophila, C. elegans, and mammalian cell culture. The connection between C-clamp containing TCFs and colorectal cancer will also be discussed.
Sunday, July 17, 2016 10:05 PM|Lyros, O., Nie, L., Moore, T., Medda, R., Otterson, M., Behmaram, B., Mackinnon, A., Gockel, I., Shaker, R., Rafiee, P.|Molecular Cancer Research recent issues|Labels: WNT, esophageal cancer, preclinical

The mechanism underlying the progression of normal esophageal mucosa to esophageal adenocarcinoma remains elusive. WNT5A is a noncanonical WNT, which mainly functions via the receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2 (ROR2), and has an unclear role in carcinogenesis. In this study, we aimed to determine the role of WNT5A/ROR2 signaling in esophageal adenocarcinoma. Analysis of WNT5A and ROR2 expression patterns in healthy controls, Barrett and esophageal adenocarcinoma patients' esophageal clinical specimens as well as in various esophageal cell lines demonstrated a ROR2 overexpression in esophageal adenocarcinoma tissues compared with Barrett and healthy mucosa, whereas WNT5A expression was found significantly downregulated toward esophageal adenocarcinoma formation. Treatment of esophageal adenocarcinoma OE33 cells with human recombinant WNT5A (rhWNT5A) significantly suppressed proliferation, survival, and migration in a dose-dependent fashion. rhWNT5A was found to inhibit TOPflash activity in ROR2 wild-type cells, whereas increased TOPflash activity in ROR2-knockdown OE33 cells. In addition, ROR2 knockdown alone abolished cell proliferation and weakened the migration properties of OE33 cells. These findings support an early dysregulation of the noncanonical WNT5A/ROR2 pathway in the pathogenesis of esophageal adenocarcinoma, with the loss of WNT5A expression together with the ROR2 overexpression to be consistent with tumor promotion.

Implications: The dysregulation of WNT5A/ROR2 noncanonical WNT signaling in Barrett-associated esophageal adenocarcinoma introduces possible prognostic markers and novel targets for tailored therapy of this malignancy. Mol Cancer Res; 14(7); 647–59. ©2016 AACR.

Sunday, July 17, 2016 6:00 PM|Nikolaus Gassler|Cancers|Labels: electron transport, WNT, gastric
The wingless (Wnt) signaling is suggested as a fundamental hierarchical pathway in regulation of proliferation and differentiation of cells. The Wnt ligands are small proteins of about 40 kDa essentially for regulation and initiation of the Wnt activity. They are secreted proteins requiring acylation for activity in the Wnt signaling cascade and for functional interactivity with transmembrane proteins. Dual lipidation is important for posttranslational activation of the overwhelming number of Wnt proteins and is probably involved in their spatial distribution. The intestinal mucosa, where Wnt signaling is essential in configuration and maintenance, is an established model to study Wnt proteins and their role in carcinogenesis and cancer. The intestinal crypt-villus/crypt-plateau axis, a cellular system with self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation, is tightly coordinated by a Wnt gradient. In the review, some attention is given to Wnt3, Wnt3A, and Wnt2B as important members of the Wnt family to address the role of lipidation and modifiers of Wnt proteins in intestinal carcinogenesis. Wnt3 is an important player in establishing the Wnt gradient in intestinal crypts and is mainly produced by Paneth cells. Wnt2B is characterized as a mitochondrial protein and shuttles between mitochondria and the nucleus. Porcupine and ACSL5, a long-chain fatty acid activating enzyme, are introduced as modifiers of Wnts and as interesting strategy to targeting Wnt-driven carcinogenesis.
Friday, July 15, 2016 6:00 PM|Nicholas Tolwinski|Cancers|Labels: Trk, WNT
Human development uses a remarkably small number of signal transduction pathways to organize vastly complicated tissues. These pathways are commonly associated with disease in adults if activated inappropriately. One such signaling pathway, Wnt, solves the too few pathways conundrum by having many alternate pathways within the Wnt network. The main or “canonical” Wnt pathway has been studied in great detail, and among its numerous downstream components, several have been identified as drug targets that have led to cancer treatments currently in clinical trials. In contrast, the non-canonical Wnt pathways are less well characterized, and few if any possible drug targets exist to tackle cancers caused by dysregulation of these Wnt offshoots. In this review, we focus on two molecules—Protein Tyrosine Kinase 7 (Ptk7) and Mutated in Colorectal Cancer (Mcc)—that do not fit perfectly into the non-canonical pathways described to date and whose roles in cancer are ill defined. We will summarize work from our laboratories as well as many others revealing unexpected links between these two proteins and Wnt signaling both in cancer progression and during vertebrate and invertebrate embryonic development. We propose that future studies focused on delineating the signaling machinery downstream of Ptk7 and Mcc will provide new, hitherto unanticipated drug targets to combat cancer metastasis.
Thursday, July 14, 2016 6:00 PM|Mirna Lechpammer|Cancers|Labels: WNT, brain cancer
Research over the last decade recognized the importance of novel molecular pathways in pathogenesis of intracranial meningiomas. In this review, we focus on human brain tumours meningiomas and the involvement of Wnt signalling pathway genes and proteins in this common brain tumour, describing their known functional effects. Meningiomas originate from the meningeal layers of the brain and the spinal cord. Most meningiomas have benign clinical behaviour and are classified as grade I by World Health Organization (WHO). However, up to 20% histologically classified as atypical (grade II) or anaplastic (grade III) are associated with higher recurrent rate and have overall less favourable clinical outcome. Recently, there is emerging evidence that multiple signalling pathways including Wnt pathway contribute to the formation and growth of meningiomas. In the review we present the synopsis on meningioma histopathology and genetics and discuss our research regarding Wnt in meningioma. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, a process in which Wnt signalling plays an important role, is shortly discussed.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 6:00 PM|Vladimir Katanaev|Cancers|Labels: WNT
Aberrant WNT signaling underlies cancerous transformation and growth in many tissues, such as the colon, breast, liver, and others. Downregulation of the WNT pathway is a desired mode of development of targeted therapies against these cancers. Despite the urgent need, no WNT signaling-directed drugs currently exist, and only very few candidates have reached early phase clinical trials. Among different strategies to develop WNT-targeting anti-cancer therapies, repositioning of existing drugs previously approved for other diseases is a promising approach. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, the anti-leprotic clofazimine, and the anti-trypanosomal suramin are among examples of drugs having recently revealed WNT-targeting activities. In total, 16 human-use drug compounds have been found to be working through the WNT pathway and show promise for their prospective repositioning against various cancers. Advances, hurdles, and prospects of developing these molecules as potential drugs against WNT-dependent cancers, as well as approaches for discovering new ones for repositioning, are the foci of the current review.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016 6:00 PM|Yi Zeng|Cancers|Labels: WNT, breast cancer
The Wnt pathway has emerged as a key signaling cascade participating in mammary organogenesis and breast oncogenesis. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge of how the pathway regulates stem cells and normal development of the mammary gland, and discuss how its various components contribute to breast carcinoma pathology.
Thursday, June 30, 2016 11:00 PM|Seagle, Brandon-Luke L.; Dandapani, Monica; Yeh, Judy Y.; Shahabi, Shohreh|International Journal of Gynecological Cancer - Current Issue|Labels: WNT, ovarian cancer
imageObjective: Ovarian cancer is the gynecologic malignancy with the highest case-fatality rate due to the development of chemotherapy resistance. Predictors of chemotherapy response are needed to guide chemotherapy selection and improve survival for patients with ovarian cancer. Wnt signaling may impact chemoresistance in ovarian cancer. Methods: We studied The Cancer Genome Atlas patients with ovarian cancer treated with intraperitoneal or intravenous-only adjuvant chemotherapy. Cox regression tested associations of expression of 26 Wnt pathway genes with progression-free survival and overall survival. Permutation tests compared survival between chemotherapy groups stratified by expression. P values are two-tailed. Results: Increased FZD3 was associated with increased survival (intraperitoneal group, overall survival: hazard ratio [HR], 0.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.11–0.72, P = 0.009; progression-free survival: HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37–0.92, P = 0.020) (intravenous-only group, overall survival: HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.72–0.99, P = 0.039; progression-free survival: HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.73–0.95, P = 0.006). Low FZD3 predicted decreased overall survival after intraperitoneal versus intravenous-only chemotherapy (21.7 vs 33.3 months, P < 0.0001). Increased APC2 was associated with decreased overall survival (HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.05–1.42; P = 0.009) and progression-free survival (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.12–1.45; P = 0.0002). Conclusions: Up-regulated tumor Wnt signaling predicts increased ovarian cancer survival. FZD3 may predict benefit from intraperitoneal chemotherapy.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 6:00 PM|Hong-Sheng Zhou, Bing Z. Carter, Michael Andreeff|Cancer Biology & Medicine|Labels: WNT, AML, preclinical
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by the accumulation of circulating immature blasts that exhibit uncontrolledgrowth, lack the ability to undergo normal differentiation, and have decreased sensitivity to apoptosis. Accumulating evidenceshows the bone marrow (BM) niche is critical to the maintenance and retention of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), includingleukemia stem cells (LSC), and an increasing number of studies have demonstrated that crosstalk between LSC and the stromalcells associated with this niche greatly influences leukemia initiation, progression, and response to therapy. Undeniably, stromalcells in the BM niche provide a sanctuary in which LSC can acquire a drug-resistant phenotype and thereby evade chemotherapyinduceddeath. Yin and Yang, the ancient Chinese philosophical concept, vividly portrays the intricate and dynamic interactionsbetween LSC and the BM niche. In fact, LSC-induced microenvironmental reprogramming contributes significantly toleukemogenesis. Thus, identifying the critical signaling pathways involved in these interactions will contribute to targetoptimization and combinatorial drug treatment strategies to overcome acquired drug resistance and prevent relapse followingtherapy. In this review, we describe some of the critical signaling pathways mediating BM niche-LSC interaction, includingSDF1/CXCL12, Wnt/β-catenin, VCAM/VLA-4/NF-κB, CD44, and hypoxia as a newly-recognized physical determinant ofresistance, and outline therapeutic strategies for overcoming these resistance factors.
Monday, June 27, 2016 6:00 PM|Madeleine Carreau|Cancers|Labels: WNT
Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) is a secreted Wnt/β-catenin pathway antagonist involved in embryogenesis. It was first described 25 years ago for its function in head induction and limb morphogenesis. Since then, this protein has been widely studied in the context of active Wnt/β-catenin signalling during cellular differentiation and development. Dysregulation of DKK1 has been associated with bone pathologies and has now emerged as a potential biomarker of cancer progression and prognosis for several types of malignancies. Reducing the amount of circulating DKK1 may reveal a simple and efficient strategy to limit or reverse cancer growth. This review will provide an overview of the role of Dickkopf-1 in cancer and explore its potential use as a biomarker and therapeutic target.
Sunday, June 26, 2016 6:00 PM|Louis Vermeulen|Cancers|Labels: WNT
Aberrant regulation of Wnt signaling is a common theme seen across many tumor types. Decades of research have unraveled the epigenetic and genetic alterations that result in elevated Wnt pathway activity. More recently, it has become apparent that Wnt signaling levels identify stem-like tumor cells that are responsible for fueling tumor growth. As therapeutic targeting of these tumor stem cells is an intense area of investigation, a concise understanding on how Wnt activity relates to cancer stem cell traits is needed. This review attempts at summarizing the intricacies between Wnt signaling and cancer stem cell biology with a special emphasis on colorectal cancer.
Sunday, June 19, 2016 6:00 PM|Ulrike Stein|Cancers|Labels: WNT
The aberrant activity of Wnt signaling is an early step in the transformation of normal intestinal cells to malignant tissue, leading to more aggressive tumors, and eventually metastases. In colorectal cancer (CRC), metastasis accounts for about 90% of patient deaths, representing the most lethal event during the course of the disease and is directly linked to patient survival, critically limiting successful therapy. This review focuses on our studies of the metastasis-inducing gene S100A4, which we identified as transcriptional target of β-catenin. S100A4 increased migration and invasion in vitro and metastasis in mice. In patient CRC samples, high S100A4 levels predict metastasis and reduced patient survival. Our results link pathways important for tumor progression and metastasis: the Wnt signaling pathway and S100A4, which regulates motility and invasiveness. S100A4 suppression by interdicting Wnt signaling has potential for therapeutic intervention. As proof of principle, we applied S100A4 shRNA systemically and prevented metastasis in mice. Furthermore, we identified small molecule inhibitors from high-throughput screens of pharmacologically active compounds employing an S100A4 promoter-driven reporter. Best hits act, as least in part, via intervening in the Wnt pathway and restricted metastasis in mouse models. We currently translate our findings on restricting S100A4-driven metastasis into clinical practice. The repositioned FDA-approved drug niclosamide, targeting Wnt signaling, is being tested in a prospective phase II clinical trial for treatment of CRC patients. Our assay for circulating S100A4 transcripts in patient blood is used to monitor treatment success.
Thursday, June 16, 2016 6:00 PM|Seppo Vainio|Cancers|Labels: WNT, kidney cancer
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for 90% of all kidney cancers. Due to poor diagnosis, high resistance to the systemic therapies and the fact that most RCC cases occur sporadically, current research switched its focus on studying the molecular mechanisms underlying RCC. The aim is the discovery of new effective and less toxic anti-cancer drugs and novel diagnostic markers. Besides the PI3K/Akt/mTOR, HGF/Met and VHL/hypoxia cellular signaling pathways, the involvement of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in RCC is commonly studied. Wnt signaling and its targeted genes are known to actively participate in different biological processes during embryonic development and renal cancer. Recently, studies have shown that targeting this pathway by alternating/inhibiting its intracellular signal transduction can reduce cancer cells viability and inhibit their growth. The targets and drugs identified show promising potential to serve as novel RCC therapeutics and prognostic markers. This review aims to summarize the current status quo regarding recent research on RCC focusing on the involvement of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and how its understanding could facilitate the identification of potential therapeutic targets, new drugs and diagnostic biomarkers.
Aberrant activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is frequently found in various cancers, often through mutations of downstream components. Inhibiting β-catenin signaling in tumors with downstream pathway mutations remains challenging, due to a lack of favorable targets. On the other hand, targeting upstream components of the Wnt pathway is rather straightforward. However, it is difficult to identify tumors addicted to autocrine or paracrine Wnt signaling. Discovery of the R-spondin-ZNRF3/RNF43 signaling module and its genetic alterations in cancers represents a breakthrough in this area. Membrane E3 ligase ZNRF3 and RNF43 are critical negative feedback regulators of the Wnt pathway, which function through promoting ubiquitination and degradation of Wnt receptors. R-spondin proteins (RSPO1-4) serve as natural antagonists of ZNRF3/RNF43. To maintain strong and sustained Wnt/β-catenin signaling, cancers need to overcome ZNRF3/RNF43-mediated feedback inhibition. Indeed, mutations of RNF43/ZNRF3 and recurrent translocations of RSPO2/RSPO3 have recently been identified in various cancers. Significantly, genetic alterations in RNF43/ZNRF3/RSPO2/RSPO3 have shown promise as predictive biomarkers in pre-clinical models for the efficacy of upstream Wnt inhibitors. In this review, we will discuss the biology of the R-spondin-ZNRF3/RNF43 signaling module, cancer-associated alterations of this signaling module, and their value as biomarkers to identify Wnt-addicted tumors.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 10:05 PM|Borras, E., San Lucas, F. A., Chang, K., Zhou, R., Masand, G., Fowler, J., Mork, M. E., You, Y. N., Taggart, M. W., McAllister, F., Jones, D. A., Davies, G. E., Edelmann, W., Ehli, E. A., Lynch, P. M., Hawk, E. T., Capella, G., Scheet, P., Vilar, E.|Cancer Prevention Research recent issues|Labels: WNT, CRC, preclinical

The molecular basis of the adenoma-to-carcinoma transition has been deduced using comparative analysis of genetic alterations observed through the sequential steps of intestinal carcinogenesis. However, comprehensive genomic analyses of adenomas and at-risk mucosa are still lacking. Therefore, our aim was to characterize the genomic landscape of colonic at-risk mucosa and adenomas. We analyzed the mutation profile and copy number changes of 25 adenomas and adjacent mucosa from 12 familial adenomatous polyposis patients using whole-exome sequencing and validated allelic imbalances (AI) in 37 adenomas using SNP arrays. We assessed for evidence of clonality and performed estimations on the proportions of driver and passenger mutations using a systems biology approach. Adenomas had lower mutational rates than did colorectal cancers and showed recurrent alterations in known cancer driver genes (APC, KRAS, FBXW7, TCF7L2) and AIs in chromosomes 5, 7, and 13. Moreover, 80% of adenomas had somatic alterations in WNT pathway genes. Adenomas displayed evidence of multiclonality similar to stage I carcinomas. Strong correlations between mutational rate and patient age were observed in at-risk mucosa and adenomas. Our data indicate that at least 23% of somatic mutations are present in at-risk mucosa prior to adenoma initiation. The genomic profiles of at-risk mucosa and adenomas illustrate the evolution from normal tissue to carcinoma via greater resolution of molecular changes at the inflection point of premalignant lesions. Furthermore, substantial genomic variation exists in at-risk mucosa before adenoma formation, and deregulation of the WNT pathway is required to foster carcinogenesis. Cancer Prev Res; 9(6); 417–27. ©2016 AACR.

Sunday, May 22, 2016 6:00 PM|Gregory Yochum|Cancers|Labels: WNT, CRC
Mutations in components of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway drive colorectal cancer (CRC) by deregulating expression of downstream target genes including the c-MYC proto-oncogene (MYC). The critical regulatory DNA enhancer elements that control oncogenic MYC expression in CRC have yet to be fully elucidated. In previous reports, we correlated T-cell factor (TCF) and β-catenin binding to the MYC 3′ Wnt responsive DNA element (MYC 3′ WRE) with MYC expression in HCT116 cells. Here we used CRISPR/Cas9 to determine whether this element is a critical driver of MYC. We isolated a clonal population of cells that contained a deletion of a single TCF binding element (TBE) within the MYC 3′ WRE. This deletion reduced TCF/β-catenin binding to this regulatory element and decreased MYC expression. Using RNA-Seq analysis, we found altered expression of genes that regulate metabolic processes, many of which are known MYC target genes. We found that 3′ WRE-Mut cells displayed a reduced proliferative capacity, diminished clonogenic growth, and a decreased potential to form tumors in vivo. These findings indicate that the MYC 3′ WRE is a critical driver of oncogenic MYC expression and suggest that this element may serve as a therapeutic target for CRC.
Monday, May 16, 2016 6:00 PM|Elizabeth Vincan|Cancers|Labels: WNT
Frizzled7 is arguably the most studied member of the Frizzled family, which are the cognate Wnt receptors. Frizzled7 is highly conserved through evolution, from Hydra through to humans, and is expressed in diverse organisms, tissues and human disease contexts. Frizzled receptors can homo- or hetero-polymerise and associate with several co-receptors to transmit Wnt signalling. Notably, Frizzled7 can transmit signalling via multiple Wnt transduction pathways and bind to several different Wnt ligands, Frizzled receptors and co-receptors. These promiscuous binding and functional properties are thought to underlie the pivotal role Frizzled7 plays in embryonic developmental and stem cell function. Recent studies have identified that Frizzled7 is upregulated in diverse human cancers, and promotes proliferation, progression and invasion, and orchestrates cellular transitions that underscore cancer metastasis. Importantly, Frizzled7 is able to regulate Wnt signalling activity even in cancer cells which have mutations to down-stream signal transducers. In this review we discuss the various aspects of Frizzled7 signalling and function, and the implications these have for therapeutic targeting of Frizzled7 in cancer.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 6:00 PM|Avri Ben-Ze’ev|Cancers|Labels: WNT, CRC
The Wnt-β-catenin signaling pathway is highly conserved during evolution and determines normal tissue homeostasis. Hyperactivation of Wnt-β-catenin signaling is a characteristic feature of colorectal cancer (CRC) development. β-catenin is a major transducer of the Wnt signal from the cytoplasm into the nucleus where it acts as a co-transcriptional activator of β-catenin-TCF target genes. β-catenin is also required for linking cadherin type cell-cell adhesion receptors to the cytoskeleton, and consequently Wnt-β-catenin signaling is an attractive system for investigating the role of adhesion-mediated signaling in both normal intestinal tissue homeostasis and CRC development. In this review, we summarize our studies on one Wnt-β-catenin target gene, L1, a member of the immunoglobulin-like cell adhesion transmembrane receptor family. We describe the mechanisms of L1-mediated signaling in CRC cells, its exclusive localization in invasive areas of CRC tissue, and its ability to increase cell motility and confer metastasis to the liver. We discuss the activation (by L1) of genes via an ezrin-NF-κB pathway and the induction of genes also found in the intestinal stem cell signature. By studying L1 (adhesion)-mediated signaling, we expect to learn about mechanisms regulating both normal intestinal homeostasis and CRC development.
Thursday, April 28, 2016 9:59 AM|BILLFELDT, N. K., BANYAI, D., KOVACS, G.|Anticancer Research recent issues|Labels: WNT, kidney cancer

Background/Aim: The canonical β-catenin pathway is involved in the development of Wilms' tumor, but its role in adult renal cell tumors (RCT) of embryonal origin is not yet known. Materials and Methods: We sequenced the catenin beta 1 (CTNNB1) gene in papillary RCTs, applied the TOPflash/FOPflash reporter plasmid system on cell lines, and examined the β-catenin protein expression by immunohistochemistry. Results: The absence of mutations in CTNNB1 and low TOPflash/FOPflash ratio in tumor cell lines indicated the absence of active Wingless-type MMTV integration site family (WNT) signaling in RCTs. The weakly cytoplasmic tending towards membranous expression of β-catenin in RCT is analogous to cellular differentiation in the embryonal kidney rather than tumorigenic activation of WNT signaling. Conclusion: The localization of β-catenin in papillary RCT, metanephric adenoma and mucinous tubular and spindle-cell carcinoma corresponds to that of emerging tubules of kidney at distinct stage of maturation, indicating their embryonal origin.

Sunday, March 20, 2016 5:00 PM|Cancer|Cancer via MedWorm.com|Comments|Labels: WNT, gastric
CONCLUSIONSThis genomic characterization of duodenal adenocarcinoma provides researchers with insight into its somatic landscape and highlights the vital role of the Wnt/β‐catenin signaling pathway. The study data also indicate that duodenal adenocarcinomas have a genetic resemblance to gastric and colorectal cancers. These discoveries may benefit the future development of molecular diagnosis and personalized therapies. Cancer 2016. © 2016 American Cancer Society. (Source: Cancer)
Sunday, March 13, 2016 5:00 PM|Cancer Research|MedWorm: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer|Comments|Labels: WNT, lung cancer, preclinical
Dysregulation of MYC expression is a hallmark of cancer, but the development of agents that target MYC has remained challenging. The oncogenic MUC1-C transmembrane protein is, like MYC, aberrantly expressed in diverse human cancers. The present studies demonstrate that MUC1-C induces MYC expression in KRAS mutant non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells, an effect that can be suppressed by targeting MUC1-C via shRNA silencing, CRISPR editing, or pharmacologic inhibition with GO-203. MUC1-C activated the WNT/β-catenin (CTNNB1) pathway and promoted occupancy of MUC1-C/β-catenin/TCF4 complexes on the MYC promoter. MUC1-C also promoted the recruitment of the p300 histone acetylase (EP300) and, in turn, induced histone H3 acetylation and activation of MYC gene transcription. We also show th...
Thursday, March 10, 2016 8:16 AM|Journal of Korean Medical Science|MedWorm: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer|Comments|Labels: WNT, lung cancer, preclinical
Authors: Yoo SS, Hong MJ, Choi JE, Lee JH, Baek SA, Lee WK, Lee SY, Lee SY, Lee J, Cha SI, Kim CH, Cho S, Park JY Abstract Recently, genetic variants in the WNT signaling pathway have been reported to affect the survival outcome of Caucasian patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We therefore attempted to determine whether these same WNT signaling pathway gene variants had similar impacts on the survival outcome of NSCLC patients in a Korean population. A total of 761 patients with stages I-IIIA NSCLC were enrolled in this study. Eight variants of WNT pathway genes were genotyped and their association with overall survival and disease-free survival were analyzed. None of the eight variants were significantly associated with overall survival or disease-free su...
Sunday, February 28, 2016 4:00 PM|Molecular Cancer Research|MedWorm: Carcinoma in Situ|Comments|Labels: EGFR, WNT, breast cancer
Conclusion: BCL9 is a molecular driver of DCIS invasive progression. The molecular mechanism for BCL9's role in breast cancer progression is through the enhancement in the canonical Wnt and EGFR signaling.Citation Format: Hanan Elsarraj, Hong Yan, Jennifer Knapp, Anna Tsimelzon, Shixia Huang, Andrew Godwin, Sue Hilsenbeck, Dean Edwards, Fariba Behbod. B cell lymphoma 9 mediates a cross talk between the canonical Wnt and EGFR signaling in breast cancer. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Special Conference on Advances in Breast Cancer Research; Oct 17-20, 2015; Bellevue, WA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Mol Cancer Res 2016;14(2_Suppl):Abstract nr B01. (Source: Molecular Cancer Research)
Monday, February 22, 2016 4:00 PM|Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters|Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters via MedWorm.com|Comments|Labels: WNT, CRC
Authors: Radwan AA, Al-Mohanna F, Alanazi FK, Manogaran PS, Al-Dhfyan A Abstract Cell surface molecule CD44 plays a major role in regulation of cancer stem cells CSCs on both phenotypic and functional level, however chemical inhibition approach of CD44 to targets CSCs is poorly studied. Herein, we report the discovery of certain N'-(2-oxoindolin-3-ylidene)-2-(benzyloxy)benzohydrazides as a novel inhibitor of CD44. Molecular docking study showed interference of the scaffold of these compounds with β-catenin/TCF-4 complex, building a direct relationship between CD44 inhibition and observed well-fitted binding domain. Compound 11a, most potent member elicits inhibition effect on TCF/LEF reporter activity conformed the involvement of Wnt pathway inhibition as a mechanism of action. Fu...
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 4:00 PM|Journal of Theoretical Biology|MedWorm: Cancer Therapy|Comments|Labels: WNT
Publication date: 21 March 2016 Source:Journal of Theoretical Biology, Volume 393 Author(s): Hemn Mohammadpour, Ali Akbar Pourfathollah, Mahin Nikougoftar Zarif, Saeed Khalili Dkk3 is a member of Dkk family proteins, regulating Wnt signaling. Dkk3 plays different roles in human and mouse tumors. Dkk3 predominantly act as a tumor suppressor, however several reports revealed that Dkk3 could accelerate cancer cell proliferation. Herein, we aimed at launching an in silico study to determine Dkk3 structure and its interactions with Kremen and LRP as Wnt signaling receptors as well as EGF receptor. Using various softwares a model was built for Dkk3 molecule. Different protein modeling approaches along with model refinement processes were employed to arrive at the final model. To achieve th...

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Friday, September 16, 2016 10:23 AM|Valerie Fako, Zhipeng Yu, Curtis J. Henrich, Tanya Ransom, Anuradha S. Budhu, Xin W. Wang|International Journal of Biological Sciences|Labels: WNT, liver cancer

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common forms of malignant cancers in the world, yet very few effective systemic treatments for HCC patients exist. Thus, the development of new treatment modalities presents a great need. The wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is highly activated in stem cell-like aggressive HCC, which is associated with chemoresistance and poor survival in HCC patients. In a previous study, we found that an FDA-approved psychiatric drug, pimozide (PMZ), has anti-cancer properties in HCC cell lines that express epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), a hepatic stem cell marker that is a functional down-stream target of the wnt/β-catenin pathway. In this study, we demonstrate that PMZ effectively inhibits cell growth of HCC cells by disrupting the wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and reducing EpCAM expression. Thus, PMZ may be a useful molecular entity that could be repurposed as an anti-cancer therapy for treatment of HCC.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 5:53 PM|Feng Zhi, Guangming Gong, Yan Xu, Yan Zhu, Die Hu, Yilin Yang, Yiqiao Hu|International Journal of Biological Sciences|Labels: WNT, brain cancer

Neuroblastoma is an embryonic malignancy arising from neuroblasts. The mechanisms that regulate the origination of neuroblastoma are still not very clear. In this study, we revealed that 6-bromoindirubin 3'-oxime (BIO), a specific GSK-3β inhibitor, promoted N2A cells-derived neurons to become tumor-like neuroblasts. Moreover, constitutively activated β-catenin (S33Y) also promoted this process, whereas, silencing endogenous expression of β-catenin abolished BIO-induced effects. These results implicated the potential relationship between the Wnt/β-catenin signaling and neuroblastoma formation. Indeed, we found that the amount of β-catenin in nucleus, which indicated the activation of Wnt/β-catnin signaling, was accumulated in human neuroblastoma specimens and positively correlated with clinical risk of neuroblastoma. These results give us a new sight into the neuroblastoma initiation and progression, and provide a potential drug target for neuroblastoma treatment.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 5:53 PM|Julia WACHTER, Daniel NEUREITER, Beate ALINGER, Martin PICHLER, Julia FUEREDER, Christian OBERDANNER, Pietro Di FAZIO, Matthias OCKER, Frieder BERR, Tobias KIESSLICH|International Journal of Biological Sciences|Labels: WNT, liver cancer

Background: The role of Wnt signalling in carcinogenesis suggests compounds targeting this pathway as potential anti-cancer drugs. Several studies report activation of Wnt signalling in biliary tract cancer (BTC) thus rendering Wnt inhibitory drugs as potential candidates for targeted therapy of this highly chemoresistant disease.

Methods: In this study we analysed five compounds with suggested inhibitory effects on Wnt signalling (DMAT, FH535, myricetin, quercetin, and TBB) for their cytotoxic efficiency, mode of cell death, time- and cell line-dependent characteristics as well as their effects on Wnt pathway activity in nine different BTC cell lines.

Results: Exposure of cancer cells to different concentrations of the compounds results in a clear dose-dependent reduction of viability for all drugs in the order FH535 > DMAT > TBB > myricetin > quercetin. The first three substances show high cytotoxicity in all tested cell lines, cause a direct cytotoxic effect by induction of apoptosis and inhibit pathway-specific signal transduction in a Wnt transcription factor reporter activity assay. Selected target genes such as growth-promoting cyclin D1 and the cell cycle progression inhibitor p27 are down- and up-regulated after treatment, respectively.

Conclusions: Taken together, these data demonstrate that the small molecular weight inhibitors DMAT, F535 and TBB have a considerable cytotoxic and possibly Wnt-specific effect on BTC cell lines in vitro. Further in vivo investigation of these drugs as well as of new Wnt inhibitors may provide a promising approach for targeted therapy of this difficult-to-treat tumour.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 7:55 AM|DO CARMO, N. G., SAKAMOTO, L. H. T., POGUE, R., DO COUTO MASCARENHAS, C., PASSOS, S. K., FELIPE, M. S. S., DE ANDRADE, R. V.|Anticancer Research recent issues|Labels: Hh/SMO, WNT

Background/Aim: Nodular and superficial are the most common subtypes of basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Signaling pathways such as Hedgehog (HH) and Wingless (WNT) signaling are associated with BCC phenotypic variation. The aim of the study was to evaluate of the expression profiles of 84 genes related to the WNT and HH signaling pathways in patients with nodular and superficial BCC. Materials and Methods: A total of 58 BCCs and 13 samples of normal skin were evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to detect the gene-expression profile. Results: qPCR array showed segregation in BCC subtypes compared to healthy skin. PRKX, WNT3 and WNT16 were significantly (p<0.05) altered: PRKX was up-regulated, and WNT3 and WNT16 were down-regulated in nodular BCC. Conclusion: PRKX, WNT3 and WNT16 genes, belonging to the WNT signaling pathway, are involved in the tumorigenic process of nodular BCC.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 11:38 PM|Cheng-Zhi Qiu, Ming-Zhen Wang, Wai-Shi Yu, Yan-Ta Guo, Chun-Xiao Wang, Xiao-Feng Yang|Journal of Cancer|Labels: AKT, WNT, CRC

Objective: Overexpression of GOLPH3 in colorectal cancer tissue may promote cell proliferation and activate the Wnt signaling pathway. We investigated the correlation between GOLPH3 gene expression and the Wnt signaling pathway to explore the mechanism of the overexpression of GOLPH3 gene which promotes proliferation in human colon cancer cells.

Methods: We measured expression of GOLPH3 mRNA in the human colon cancer cell lines HCT116, HT29, SW480 and SW620 by RT-PCR, and the cells with the highest expression were selected and divided into four groups: negative control, GOLPH3 siRNA transfection (siRNA-GOLPH3), Akt inhibitor (Tricinbine), and glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3β inhibitor (TWS119). After human colon cancer cells were transfected with siRNA-GOLPH3, we used RT-PCR to investigate the silencing effect of GOLPH3 gene. We assessed the activity of the Wnt signaling pathway in all groups using the Topflash method. Proliferation and apoptosis of colon cancer SW620 cells were detected by MTT assay, colony formation assay and flow cytometry. Expression of Golgi phosphoprotein (GOLPH)3, β-catenin, GSK-3β and pS9-GSK-3β in cancer cells was determined by Western blotting.

Results: SW620 cells expressed the highest level of GOLPH3 mRNA, and the silence effect was good after they were transfected with siRNA-GOLPH3. The relative luminescence units (RLU) values in the experimental groups were significantly lower than in the negative control group (P<0.001). There was no significant difference in the RLU values among the experimental groups (P> 0.05). The growth inhibition ratio and apoptosis rate of cancer cells in each experimental group were significantly higher than those in the control group, and the cell colony count in the experimental group was significantly lower than in the control group (P<0.05). In addition, the RLU value, proliferation and apoptosis rate of cancer cells did not differ significantly between each two experimental groups. Western blotting showed that, compared with the control group, expression of β-catenin and pS9-GSK3 proteins were significantly decreased in the experimental group. Expression of GSK-3β in the experimental group did not different from that of the control group.

Conclusions: Overexpression of GOLPH3 gene activated the Wnt signaling pathway, as well as increasing expression of β-catenin, promoting proliferation and inhibiting apoptosis in human colon cancer cells. The mechanism of action was that overexpression of GOLPH3 gene activated Akt, which may also further activate the Wnt signaling pathway via GSK-3β, and promote proliferation in human colon cancer cells.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 11:38 PM|Kamal Datta, Shubhankar Suman, Santosh Kumar, Albert J Fornace|Journal of Cancer|Labels: proteasome, WNT, CRC

Adult colorectal epithelium undergoes continuous renewal and maintains homeostatic balance through regulated cellular proliferation, differentiation, and migration. The canonical Wnt signaling pathway involving the transcriptional co-activator β-catenin is important for colorectal development and normal epithelial maintenance, and deregulated Wnt/β-catenin signaling has been implicated in colorectal carcinogenesis. Colorectal carcinogenesis has been linked to radiation exposure, and radiation has been demonstrated to alter Wnt/β-catenin signaling, as well as the proteasomal pathway involved in the degradation of the signaling components and thus regulation of β-catenin. The current review discusses recent progresses in our understanding of colorectal carcinogenesis in relation to different types of radiation and roles that radiation quality plays in deregulating β-catenin and ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) for colorectal cancer initiation and progression.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 10:05 PM|Jackson, H., Granger, D., Jones, G., Anderson, L., Friel, S., Rycroft, D., Fieles, W., Tunstead, J., Steward, M., Wattam, T., Walker, A., Griggs, J., Al-Hajj, M., Shelton, C.|Molecular Cancer Research recent issues|Labels: WNT

Aberrant WNT signaling is associated with the formation and growth of numerous human cancer types. The low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6) is the least redundant component of the WNT receptor complex with two independent WNT ligand-binding sites. Using domain antibody (dAb) technology, a bispecific antibody (GSK3178022) to LRP6 was identified that is capable of blocking stimulation in the presence of a range of WNT and R-spondin (RSPO) ligands in vitro. GSK3178022 was also efficacious in reducing WNT target gene expression in vivo, in both cancer cell line and patient-derived xenograft models, and delays tumor growth in a patient-derived RSPO fusion model of colorectal cancer.

Implications: This article demonstrates the inhibition of a key oncogenic receptor, intractable to mAb inhibition due to multiple independent ligand interaction sites, using an innovative dAb approach. Mol Cancer Res; 14(9); 859–68. ©2016 AACR.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Gang He, Xingying Guan, Xuedan Chen, Yan Wang, Chao Luo, Bo Zhang|Journal of Cancer (RSS 2.0)|Labels: WNT, esophageal cancer

Objective: The human T cell transcription factor-4 (TCF4) interacts functionally with β-catenin in the Wnt signaling pathway, whose deregulation is involved in the tumorigenesis of various types of cancers. Recent studies showed that TCF4 mRNAs were subject to alternative splicing, which was proposed to be important in regulating transactivational properties of the corresponding protein isoforms. Here we investigated the splicing isoforms and the roles of TCF4 in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Methods: RT-PCR and subsequent cloning and sequencing were applied to identify the splicing isoforms. Western blotting and realtime PCR were used to analyze the expression of TCF4. Knockdown of TCF4 was achieved with siRNA and stable transfection of expression vectors was performed.

Results: Our results showed there were a lot of different isoforms of TCF4 mRNA both in human esophageal cancers and cell line. Further, knockdown of TCF4E isoform expression in EC109 cells inhibited the cell growth, while overexpression of TCF4M isoform did not alter its transcription activity. Moreover, sixteen potential binding proteins of TCF4 were preliminarily identified by mass spectrometry.

Conclusions: Our data suggested that deregulation of TCF4 isoforms may contribute to the tumorigenesis of ESCC.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Swatishree Padhi, Arka Saha, Madhabananda Kar, Chinmoy Ghosh, Amit Adhya, Manas Baisakh, Nachiketa Mohapatra, Shriram Venkatesan, Manoor Prakash Hande, Birendranath Banerjee|Journal of Cancer (RSS 2.0)|Labels: WNT, HNN

Background: Tumorigenesis is a complex process of accumulated alteration in function of multiple genes and pathways. Wnt signalling pathway is involved in various differentiation events during embryonic development and is conserved in various species.

Objective: A multicentre collaborative initiative is undertaken to study the occurrence, prognosis and molecular mechanism of HNSCC (Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma) which is highly prevalent in eastern parts of India. From a large cohort of HNSCC tissue repository, 67 cases were selected for multi-parametric investigation.

Results: 67 cases showed stable β-catenin expression. We have seen correlation, if any, of the transcription factor - β-catenin, telomere maintenance and shelterin complex proteins - TRF2, Rap1 and hTert with respect to tumor differentiation and telomere dysfunction. Immunohistochemistry of β-catenin protein showed stable and high expression in tumor when compared to stroma. MDSCC (Moderately Differentiated Squamous cell carcinoma) cases expressed nuclear expression of β-catenin in invasive fronts and showed increased genomic instability. Higher frequency of Anaphase bridges was observed ranging from <3% in normal cut margin to 13% in WDSCC (Well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma) and 18% in MDSCC (Moderately differentiated Squamous cell carcinoma). There was significant decrease in telomere length in MDSCC (<4) when compared to the normal cut margin samples (<7). Quantitative Real Time-PCR confirmed a significant correlationship between stable β-catenin expression and poor clinical and pathological outcome.

Conclusion: The Stabilisation and accumulation of β-catenin was significant and correlated well with de-differentiation process as well as prognosis and therapy outcome of the patients in the cohort. Expression status of molecular markers such as β-catenin, hTert, TRF2 and RAP1 correlate significantly with the process of tumorigenesis and prognosis and may play a role in therapeutic management of Head and neck patients.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Artur Jurczyszyn, Anna Zebzda, Jacek Czepiel, Joanna Gdula-Argasińska, William Perucki, Aleksander B. Skotnicki, Marcin Majka|Journal of Cancer (RSS 2.0)|Labels: WNT, MM

The bone marrow microenvironment plays a key role in the stimulation of growth and survival of multiple myeloma (MM) cells. We investigated whether membrane microfragments (MFBs) exert a stimulatory effect on mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) gene expression or differentiation. MSCs from patients with multiple myeloma (MMBM-MSCs) proliferated at a slower rate than MSCs from healthy volunteers (BM-MSCs), and fewer MMBM-MSCs adhered to the substrate as compared to BM-MSCs. Phenotypic analysis revealed that MMBM-MSCs and BM-MSCs differed significantly in terms of their CD166 and CXCR4 expressions. In conclusion, our comparative analysis of mesenchymal cells from MM patients and healthy volunteers revealed differences in the genetic and phenotypic profiles of these two populations, their potential for osteodifferentiation, and expression of surface antigens. Moreover, we showed that membrane MFBs may alter the genetic profile of MSCs, leading to disorders of their osteodifferentiation, and interact with the WNT pathway via presentation of the DKK-1 protein.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Michael Bordonaro|Journal of Cancer|Labels: WNT, CRC

RNA processing involves a variety of processes affecting gene expression, including the removal of introns through RNA splicing, as well as 3' end processing (cleavage and polyadenylation). Alternative RNA processing is fundamentally important for gene regulation, and aberrant processing is associated with the initiation and progression of cancer. Deregulated Wnt signaling, which is the initiating event in the development of most cases of human colorectal cancer (CRC), has been linked to modified RNA processing, which may contribute to Wnt-mediated colonic carcinogenesis. Crosstalk between Wnt signaling and alternative RNA splicing with relevance to CRC includes effects on the expression of Rac1b, an alternatively spliced gene associated with tumorigenesis, which exhibits alternative RNA splicing that is influenced by Wnt activity. In addition, Tcf4, a crucial component of Wnt signaling, also exhibits alternative splicing, which is likely involved in colonic tumorigenesis. Modulation of 3' end formation, including of the Wnt target gene COX-2, also can influence the neoplastic process, with implications for CRC. While many human genes are dependent on introns and splicing for normal levels of gene expression, naturally intronless genes exist with a unique metabolism that allows for intron-independent gene expression. Effects of Wnt activity on the RNA metabolism of the intronless Wnt-target gene c-jun is a likely contributor to cancer development. Further, butyrate, a breakdown product of dietary fiber and a histone deacetylase inhibitor, upregulates Wnt activity in CRC cells, and also modulates RNA processing; therefore, the interplay between Wnt activity, the modulation of this activity by butyrate, and differential RNA metabolism in colonic cells can significantly influence tumorigenesis. Determining the role played by altered RNA processing in Wnt-mediated neoplasia may lead to novel interventions aimed at restoring normal RNA metabolism for therapeutic benefit. Therefore, this minireview presents a brief overview of several aspects of RNA processing of relevance to cancer, which potentially influence, or are influenced by, Wnt signaling activity.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Darina L Lazarova, Terrence Wong, Christopher Chiaro, Eric Drago, Michael Bordonaro|Journal of Cancer|Labels: WNT, CRC

Deregulated WNT/catenin pathway, usually resulting from mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli and beta-catenin genes, drives colorectal tumorigenesis. Dietary fiber has been shown to have a protective role against colorectal cancer (CRC). We have previously demonstrated that the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) butyrate, a fermentation product of dietary fiber, induces WNT/catenin hyperactivation, which promotes CRC cell apoptosis. Therefore, the ability of butyrate to induce WNT hyperactivation and thus promote CRC cell apoptosis may in part explain the preventive function of fiber against CRC. The association between beta-catenin and the transcriptional coactivator p300 may influence WNT/catenin signaling and, therefore, colonic cell physiology. p300 functions as a histone acetylase (HAT); therefore, the modulation of WNT/catenin activity by p300 may influence the ability of the HDACi butyrate to hyperinduce WNT signaling and apoptosis in CRC cells. Our findings indicate that p300 affects the hyperinduction of WNT activity by butyrate. Knockdown of p300 levels represses butyrate-mediated WNT/catenin activity; but still allows for butyrate-mediated apoptosis. Overexpression of p300 stimulates basal and butyrate-induced WNT signaling in some, but not all, CRC cell lines. We also evaluate the role of p300 in therapeutic approaches that target CBP. The small molecule ICG-001, in clinical trial, is a specific inhibitor of CBP-mediated WNT signaling, and previous studies have suggested that p300 is required for the activity of ICG-001. However, we report that ICG-001 maintains full activity against CBP-mediated WNT signaling in p300-deficient cell lines, including the butyrate-resistance line HCT-R. In addition, our findings evaluating combinatorial treatment of ICG-001 and butyrate in HCT-R cells may have important therapeutic implications for the treatment of butyrate-resistant CRCs.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Darina L Lazarova, Christopher Chiaro, Terrence Wong, Eric Drago, Anthony Rainey, Shannon O'Malley, Michael Bordonaro|Journal of Cancer|Labels: HDAC, WNT, CRC

Mutations in the WNT/beta-catenin pathway are responsible for initiating the majority of colorectal cancers (CRCs). We have previously shown that hyperactivation of this signaling by histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) such as butyrate, a fermentation product of dietary fiber, promotes CRC cell apoptosis. The extent of association between beta-catenin and the transcriptional coactivator CREB-binding protein (CBP) influences WNT/catenin signaling and, therefore, colonic cell physiology. CBP functions as a histone acetylase (HAT); therefore, we hypothesized that the modulation of WNT/catenin activity by CBP modifies the ability of the HDACi butyrate to hyperinduce WNT signaling and apoptosis in CRC cells. Our findings indicate that CBP affects the hyperinduction of WNT activity by butyrate. ICG-001, which specifically blocks association between CBP and beta-catenin, abrogates the butyrate-triggered increase in the number of CRC cells with high levels of WNT/catenin signaling. Combination treatment of CRC cells with ICG-001 and butyrate results in cell type-specific effects on apoptosis. Further, both butyrate and ICG-001 repress CRC cell proliferation, with additive effects in suppressing cell growth. Our study strongly suggests that ICG-001-like agents would be effective against butyrate/HDACi-resistant CRC cells. Therefore, ICG-001-like agents may represent an important therapeutic option for CRCs that exhibit low-fold hyperactivation of WNT activity and apoptosis in the presence of HDACis. The findings generated from this study may lead to approaches that utilize modulation of CBP activity to facilitate CRC therapeutic or chemopreventive strategies.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:19 PM|Hong-Wu Xin, Chenwi M. Ambe, Satyajit Ray, Bo-Kyu Kim, Tomotake Koizumi, Gordon W. Wiegand, Danielle Hari, John E. Mullinax, Kshama R. Jaiswal, Susan H. Garfield, Alexander Stojadinovic, Udo Rudloff, Snorri S. Thorgeirsson, Itzhak Avital|Journal of Cancer|Labels: WNT, gastric

Objective: Stem-like cancer cells contribute to cancer initiation and maintenance. Stem cells can self-renew by asymmetric cell division (ACD). ACD with non-random chromosomal cosegregation (ACD-NRCC) is one possible self-renewal mechanism. There is a paucity of evidence supporting ACD-NRCC in human cancer. Our aim was to investigate ACD-NRCC and its potential interactions with the cancer niche (microenvironment) in gastrointestinal cancers.

Design: We used DNA double and single labeling approaches with FACS to isolate live cells undergoing ACD-NRCC.

Results: Gastrointestinal cancers contain rare subpopulations of cells capable of ACD-NRCC. ACD-NRCC was detected preferentially in subpopulations of cells previously suggested to be stem-like/tumor-initiating cancer cells. ACD-NRCC was independent of cell-to-cell contact, and was regulated by the cancer niche in a heat-sensitive paracrine fashion. Wnt pathway genes and proteins are differentially expressed in cells undergoing ACD-NRCC vs. symmetric cell division. Blocking the Wnt pathway with IWP2 (WNT antagonist) or siRNA-TCF4 resulted in suppression of ACD-NRCC. However, using a Wnt-agonist did not increase the relative proportion of cells undergoing ACD-NRCC.

Conclusion: Gastrointestinal cancers contain subpopulations of cells capable of ACD-NRCC. Here we show for the first time that ACD-NRCC can be regulated by the Wnt pathway, and by the cancer niche in a paracrine fashion. However, whether ACD-NRCC is exclusively associated with stem-like cancer cells remains to be determined. Further study of these findings might generate novel insights into stem cell and cancer biology. Targeting the mechanism of ACD-NRCC might engender novel approaches for cancer therapy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 7:50 PM|Current Opinion in Cell Biology - Top Cited|Labels: WNT
The functional versatility of Wnt/β-catenin signaling can be seen by its ability to act in stem cells of the embryo and of the adult as well as in cancer stem cells. During embryogenesis, stem cells demonstrate a requirement for β-catenin in mediating the response to Wnt signaling for their maintenance and transition from a pluripotent state. In adult stem cells, Wnt signaling functions at various hierarchical levels to contribute to specification of different tissues. This has raised the possibility that the tightly regulated self-renewal mediated by Wnt signaling in stem and progenitor cells is subverted in cancer cells to allow malignant progression. Intensive work is currently being performed to resolve how intrinsic and extrinsic factors that regulate Wnt/β-catenin signaling coordinate the stem and cancer stem cell states. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 6:00 PM|Ge Li|International Journal of Molecular Sciences|Labels: WNT
The metanephric mesenchyme (MM) cells are a subset of kidney progenitor cells and play an essential role in mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET), the key step of nephron generation. Six2, a biological marker related to Wnt signaling pathway, promotes the proliferation, inhibits the apoptosis and maintains the un-differentiation of MM cells. Besides, LiCl is an activator of Wnt signaling pathway. However, the role of LiCl in cellular regulation of MM cells remains unclear, and the relationship between LiCl and Six2 in this process is also little known. Here, we performed EdU assay and flow cytometry assay to, respectively, detect the proliferation and apoptosis of MM cells treated with LiCl of increasing dosages. In addition, reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and Western-blot were conducted to measure the expression of Six2 and some maker genes of Wnt and bone-morphogenetic-protein (BMP) signaling pathway. Furthermore, luciferase assay was also carried out to detect the transcriptional regulation of Six2. Then we found LiCl promoted MM cell proliferation at low-concentration (10, 20, 30, and 40 mM). The expression of Six2 was dose-dependently increased in low-concentration (10, 20, 30, and 40 mM) at both mRNA and protein level. In addition, both of cell proliferation and Six2 expression in MM cells declined when dosage reached high-concentration (50 mM). However, Six2 knock-down converted the proliferation reduction at 50 mM. Furthermore, Six2 deficiency increased the apoptosis of MM cells, compared with negative control cells at relative LiCl concentration. However, the abnormal rise of apoptosis at 30 mM of LiCl concentration implies that it might be the reduction of GSK3β that increased cell apoptosis. Together, these demonstrate that LiCl can induce the proliferation and apoptosis of MM cells coordinating with Six2.
Thursday, September 1, 2016 10:05 PM|Abu Aboud, O., Chen, C.-H., Senapedis, W., Baloglu, E., Argueta, C., Weiss, R. H.|Molecular Cancer Therapeutics current issue|Labels: WNT, kidney cancer

Kidney cancer (or renal cell carcinoma, RCC) is the sixth most common malignancy in the United States and one of the relatively few whose incidence is increasing. Because of the near universal resistance which occurs with the use of current treatment regimens, reprogrammed metabolic pathways are being investigated as potential targets for novel therapies of this disease. Borrowing from studies on other malignancies, we have identified the PAK4 and NAD biosynthetic pathways as being essential for RCC growth. We now show, using the dual PAK4/NAMPT inhibitor KPT-9274, that interference with these signaling pathways results in reduction of G2–M transit as well as induction of apoptosis and decrease in cell invasion and migration in several human RCC cell lines. Mechanistic studies demonstrate that inhibition of the PAK4 pathway by KPT-9274 attenuates nuclear β-catenin as well as the Wnt/β-catenin targets cyclin D1 and c-Myc. Furthermore, NAPRT1 downregulation, which we show occurs in all RCC cell lines tested, makes this tumor highly dependent on NAMPT for its NAD requirements, such that inhibition of NAMPT by KPT-9274 leads to decreased survival of these rapidly proliferating cells. When KPT-9274 was administered in vivo to a 786-O (VHL-mut) human RCC xenograft model, there was dose-dependent inhibition of tumor growth with no apparent toxicity; KPT-9274 demonstrated the expected on-target effects in this mouse model. KPT-9274 is being evaluated in a phase I human clinical trial in solid tumors and lymphomas, which will allow this data to be rapidly translated into the clinic for the treatment of RCC. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(9); 2119–29. ©2016 AACR.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 10:05 PM|Pedersen, E. A., Menon, R., Bailey, K. M., Thomas, D. G., Van Noord, R. A., Tran, J., Wang, H., Qu, P. P., Hoering, A., Fearon, E. R., Chugh, R., Lawlor, E. R.|Cancer Research recent issues|Labels: WNT, childhood cancer, sarcoma, preclinical
Ewing sarcomas are characterized by the presence of EWS/ETS fusion genes in the absence of other recurrent genetic alterations and mechanisms of tumor heterogeneity that contribute to disease progression remain unclear. Mutations in the Wnt/β-catenin pathway are rare in Ewing sarcoma but the Wnt pathway modulator LGR5 is often highly expressed, suggesting a potential role for the axis in tumor pathogenesis. We evaluated β-catenin and LGR5 expression in Ewing sarcoma cell lines and tumors and noted marked intra- and inter-tumor heterogeneity. Tumors with evidence of active Wnt/β-catenin signaling were associated with increased incidence of tumor relapse and worse overall survival. Paradoxically, RNA sequencing revealed a marked antagonism of EWS/ETS transcriptional activity in Wnt/β-catenin–activated tumor cells. Consistent with this, Wnt/β-catenin–activated cells displayed a phenotype that was reminiscent of Ewing sarcoma cells with partial EWS/ETS loss of function. Specifically, activation of Wnt/β-catenin induced alterations to the actin cytoskeleton, acquisition of a migratory phenotype, and upregulation of EWS/ETS–repressed genes. Notably, activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling led to marked induction of tenascin C (TNC), an established promoter of cancer metastasis, and an EWS/ETS–repressed target gene. Loss of TNC function in Ewing sarcoma cells profoundly inhibited their migratory and metastatic potential. Our studies reveal that heterogeneous activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in subpopulations of tumor cells contributes to phenotypic heterogeneity and disease progression in Ewing sarcoma. Significantly, this is mediated, at least in part, by inhibition of EWS/ETS fusion protein function that results in derepression of metastasis-associated gene programs. Cancer Res; 76(17); 5040–53. ©2016 AACR.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 10:05 PM|Sandhu, V., Wedge, D. C., Bowitz Lothe, I. M., Labori, K. J., Dentro, S. C., Buanes, T., Skrede, M. L., Dalsgaard, A. M., Munthe, E., Myklebost, O., Lingȷarde, O. C., Borresen–Dale, A.–L., Ikdahl, T., Van Loo, P., Nord, S., Kure, E. H.|Cancer Research recent issues|Labels: P53, WNT, pancreatic cancer, preclinical
Despite advances in diagnostics, less than 5% of patients with periampullary tumors experience an overall survival of five years or more. Periampullary tumors are neoplasms that arise in the vicinity of the ampulla of Vater, an enlargement of liver and pancreas ducts where they join and enter the small intestine. In this study, we analyzed copy number aberrations using Affymetrix SNP 6.0 arrays in 60 periampullary adenocarcinomas from Oslo University Hospital to identify genome-wide copy number aberrations, putative driver genes, deregulated pathways, and potential prognostic markers. Results were validated in a separate cohort derived from The Cancer Genome Atlas Consortium (n = 127). In contrast to many other solid tumors, periampullary adenocarcinomas exhibited more frequent genomic deletions than gains. Genes in the frequently codeleted region 17p13 and 18q21/22 were associated with cell cycle, apoptosis, and p53 and Wnt signaling. By integrating genomics and transcriptomics data from the same patients, we identified CCNE1 and ERBB2 as candidate driver genes. Morphologic subtypes of periampullary adenocarcinomas (i.e., pancreatobiliary or intestinal) harbor many common genomic aberrations. However, gain of 13q and 3q, and deletions of 5q were found specific to the intestinal subtype. Our study also implicated the use of the PAM50 classifier in identifying a subgroup of patients with a high proliferation rate, which had impaired survival. Furthermore, gain of 18p11 (18p11.21-23, 18p11.31-32) and 19q13 (19q13.2, 19q13.31-32) and subsequent overexpression of the genes in these loci were associated with impaired survival. Our work identifies potential prognostic markers for periampullary tumors, the genetic characterization of which has lagged. Cancer Res; 76(17); 5092–102. ©2016 AACR.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 6:00 PM|Terence Van Raay|Cancers|Labels: WNT
The Wnt signaling pathway is intricately involved in many aspects of development and is the root cause of an increasing number of diseases. For example, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death in the industrialized world and aberration of Wnt signaling within the colonic stem cell is the cause of more than 90% of these cancers. Despite our advances in successfully targeting other pathways, such as Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2), there are no clinically relevant therapies available for Wnt-related diseases. Here, we investigated where research activities are focused with respect to Wnt signaling modulators by searching the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) for patents and patent applications related to Wnt modulators and compared this to clinical trials focusing on Wnt modulation. We found that while the transition of intellectual property surrounding the Wnt ligand-receptor interface to clinical trials is robust, this is not true for specific inhibitors of β-catenin, which is constitutively active in many cancers. Considering the ubiquitous use of the synthetic T-cell Factor/Lymphoid Enhancer Factor (TCF/Lef) reporter system and its success in identifying novel modulators in vitro, we speculate that this model of drug discovery does not capture the complexity of in vivo Wnt signaling that may be required if we are to successfully target the Wnt pathway in the clinic. Notwithstanding, increasingly more complex models are being developed, which may not be high throughput, but more pragmatic in our pursuit to control Wnt signaling.
Sunday, August 28, 2016 6:00 PM|Crislyn D’Souza-Schorey|Cancers|Labels: WNT
The importance of canonical and non-canonical Wnt signal transduction cascades in embryonic development and tissue homeostasis is well recognized. The aberrant activation of these pathways in the adult leads to abnormal cellular behaviors, and tumor progression is frequently a consequence. Here we discuss recent findings and analogies between Wnt signaling in developmental processes and tumor progression, with a particular focus on cell motility and matrix invasion and highlight the roles of the ARF (ADP-Ribosylation Factor) and Rho-family small GTP-binding proteins. Wnt-regulated signal transduction from cell surface receptors, signaling endosomes and/or extracellular vesicles has the potential to profoundly influence cell movement, matrix degradation and paracrine signaling in both development and disease.
Thursday, August 25, 2016 6:00 PM|Karin Pike-Overzet|Cancers|Labels: WNT, leukemia
The Wnt signaling pathway is essential in the development and homeostasis of blood and immune cells, but its exact role is still controversial and is the subject of intense research. The malignant counterpart of normal hematopoietic cells, leukemic (stem) cells, have hijacked the Wnt pathway for their self-renewal and proliferation. Here we review the multiple ways dysregulated Wnt signaling can contribute to leukemogenesis, both cell autonomously as well as by changes in the microenvironment.
Thursday, August 25, 2016 6:00 PM|M. Stack|Cancers|Labels: WNT
Wnt5a is involved in activating several non-canonical WNT signaling pathways, through binding to different members of the Frizzled- and Ror-family receptors. Wnt5a signaling is critical for regulating normal developmental processes, including proliferation, differentiation, migration, adhesion and polarity. However, the aberrant activation or inhibition of Wnt5a signaling is emerging as an important event in cancer progression, exerting both oncogenic and tumor suppressive effects. Recent studies show the involvement of Wnt5a in regulating cancer cell invasion, metastasis, metabolism and inflammation. In this article, we review findings regarding the molecular mechanisms and roles of Wnt5a signaling in various cancer types, and highlight Wnt5a in ovarian cancer.
Thursday, August 25, 2016 2:25 AM|Yong-Tao Yang, Yu-Fan Wang, Ju-Yi Lai, Shi-Yue Shen, Feng Wang, Jie Kong, Wei Zhang, Hong-Yu Yang|Cancer Science|Labels: WNT, pharyngeal
With the development of the functional genomics studies, a mass of long non-coding RNAs (LncRNA) were discovered from the human genome. LncRNAs serve as pivotal regulator of genes, which are able to generate LncRNA-binding-protein complexes to modulate a great many of genes. Recently, the LncRNA urothelial carcinoma-associated 1 (UCA1) has been revealed to be dysregulated, which plays a critical role in the development of a few cancers. However, the role of biology and clinical signification of UCA1 in the tumorigenesis of oral squamous carcinoma (OSCC) remain unknown. Hereof, we found that UCA1 expression levels were upregulated aberrantly in TSCC tissues and associated with lymph node metastasis (LNM) and TNM stage. We explored the expression, function and molecular mechanism of LncRNA-UCA1 in the oral squamous cell carcinoma. In the present work, we demonstrated that UCA1 silencing suppressived the proliferation and metastasis, induced apoptosis of OSCC cell lines in vitro and in vivo, which might be related to the activation level of WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway. To sum up, our research results emphasize the pivotal role of UCA1 in the oncogenesis of OSCC and, revealed a novel LncRNA UCA1-β-catenin-WNT signaling pathway regulatory network, which may contribute to our understanding in the pathogenesis of OSCC and discover a viable LncRNA-directed diagnostic and therapeutic strategy for this fatal disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Friday, August 19, 2016 6:00 PM|Alfred Cheng|Cancers|Labels: WNT, liver cancer
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), characterized by fat accumulation in liver, is closely associated with central obesity, over-nutrition and other features of metabolic syndrome, which elevate the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a significant role in the physiology and pathology of liver. Up to half of HCC patients have activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. However, the mutation frequencies of CTNNB1 (encoding β-catenin protein) or other antagonists targeting Wnt/β-catenin signaling are low in HCC patients, suggesting that genetic mutations are not the major factor driving abnormal β-catenin activities in HCC. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that obesity-induced metabolic pathways can deregulate chromatin modifiers such as histone deacetylase 8 to trigger undesired global epigenetic changes, thereby modifying gene expression program which contributes to oncogenic signaling. This review focuses on the aberrant epigenetic activation of Wnt/β-catenin in the development of NAFLD-associated HCC. A deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying such deregulation may shed light on the identification of novel druggable epigenetic targets for the prevention and/or treatment of HCC in obese and diabetic patients.
Sunday, August 14, 2016 10:05 PM|West, D. C., Pan, D., Tonsing-Carter, E. Y., Hernandez, K. M., Pierce, C. F., Styke, S. C., Bowie, K. R., Garcia, T. I., Kocherginsky, M., Conzen, S. D.|Molecular Cancer Research recent issues|Labels: WNT, breast cancer, preclinical

In estrogen receptor (ER)–negative breast cancer, high tumor glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression has been associated with a relatively poor outcome. In contrast, using a meta-analysis of several genomic datasets, here we find that tumor GR mRNA expression is associated with improved ER+ relapse-free survival (RFS; independently of progesterone receptor expression). To understand the mechanism by which GR expression is associated with a better ER+ breast cancer outcome, the global effect of GR-mediated transcriptional activation in ER+ breast cancer cells was studied. Analysis of GR chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing in ER+/GR+ MCF-7 cells revealed that upon coactivation of GR and ER, GR chromatin association became enriched at proximal promoter regions. Furthermore, following ER activation, increased GR chromatin association was observed at ER, FOXO, and AP1 response elements. In addition, ER associated with GR response elements, suggesting that ER and GR interact in a complex. Coactivation of GR and ER resulted in increased expression (relative to ER activation alone) of transcripts that encode proteins promoting cellular differentiation (e.g., KDM4B, VDR) and inhibiting the Wnt signaling pathway (IGFBP4). Finally, expression of these individual prodifferentiation genes was associated with significantly improved RFS in ER+ breast cancer patients. Together, these data suggest that the coexpression and subsequent activity of tumor cell GR and ER contribute to the less aggressive natural history of early-stage breast cancer by coordinating the altered expression of genes favoring differentiation.

Implications: The interaction between ER and GR activity highlights the importance of context-dependent nuclear receptor function in cancer. Mol Cancer Res; 14(8); 707–19. ©2016 AACR.

Sunday, August 14, 2016 10:05 PM|Rusert, J. M., Garancher, A., Udaka, Y. T., Brabetz, S., Esparza, L. A., Seker-Cin, H., Qi, L., Kogiso, M., Schubert, S., Milde, T., Cho, Y.-J., Li, X.-N., Olson, J. M., Crawford, J. R., Levy, M. L., Kool, M., Pfister, S. M., Wechsler-Reya, R. J.|Clinical Cancer Research recent issues|Labels: WNT, brain cancer, preclinical

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. Even with an intensive regimen of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, one-third of patients still die from their disease. Moreover, survivors suffer devastating side effects including cognitive deficits, endocrine disorders and an increased incidence of secondary cancers later in life. Thus, more effective and less toxic therapies are desperately needed. Recent genomic analyses have identified 4 major subgroups of MB—WNT, SHH, Group 3 and Group 4—that differ in terms of mutations, gene expression profiles and patient outcomes. Despite this heterogeneity, all MB patients currently receive the same therapy. To identify novel therapies for each subgroup of MB, we have assembled a diverse panel of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) lines. These lines, established by orthotopic transplantation of tumor cells obtained from surgery, recapitulate the properties of patients' tumors more accurately than cultured cell lines. We are using these PDX lines to screen small molecule libraries and identify compounds that can inhibit tumor growth and survival. To date we have completed screening of 18 lines, including 10 representing Group 3 MB, the most aggressive and lethal form of the disease. Among the ~7800 compounds tested, we have found 20 that are effective against the majority of Group 3 PDX lines. Ongoing studies are focused on validating the activity of these compounds against additional Group 3 lines and moving the most promising ones forward into in vivo efficacy studies. Similar approaches will be pursued for each of the other subgroups of MB. Drug response data will also be compared with genomic and epigenomic data (whole exome and low coverage whole genome DNA sequencing, DNA methylation analysis, and gene expression profiling) to identify biomarkers of drug responsiveness and key pathways that may be exploited for therapy. Based on these studies, we hope to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach, and begin to treat each patient with therapies that are likely to be effective against their tumor.

Citation Format: Jessica M. Rusert, Alexandra Garancher, Yoko T. Udaka, Sebastian Brabetz, Lourdes A. Esparza, Huriye Seker-Cin, Lin Qi, Mari Kogiso, Simone Schubert, Till Milde, Yoon-Jae Cho, Xiao-Nan Li, James M. Olson, John R. Crawford, Michael L. Levy, Marcel Kool, Stefan M. Pfister, Robert J. Wechsler-Reya. Chemi-genomic analysis of patient-derived xenografts to identify personalized therapies for medulloblastoma. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Special Conference: Patient-Derived Cancer Models: Present and Future Applications from Basic Science to the Clinic; Feb 11-14, 2016; New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Clin Cancer Res 2016;22(16_Suppl):Abstract nr B37.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 6:00 PM|Ken Cadigan|Cancers|Labels: WNT, CRC
T-cell Factor/Lymphoid Enhancer Factor (TCF/LEF) transcription factors are major regulators of Wnt targets, and the products of the TCF7 and TCF7L2 genes have both been implicated in the progression of colorectal cancer in animal models and humans. TCFs recognize specific DNA sequences through their high mobility group (HMG) domains, but invertebrate TCFs and some isoforms of vertebrate TCF7 and TCF7L2 contain a second DNA binding domain known as the C-clamp. This review will cover the basic properties of C-clamps and their importance in Wnt signaling, using data from Drosophila, C. elegans, and mammalian cell culture. The connection between C-clamp containing TCFs and colorectal cancer will also be discussed.
Sunday, July 17, 2016 10:05 PM|Lyros, O., Nie, L., Moore, T., Medda, R., Otterson, M., Behmaram, B., Mackinnon, A., Gockel, I., Shaker, R., Rafiee, P.|Molecular Cancer Research recent issues|Labels: WNT, esophageal cancer, preclinical

The mechanism underlying the progression of normal esophageal mucosa to esophageal adenocarcinoma remains elusive. WNT5A is a noncanonical WNT, which mainly functions via the receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2 (ROR2), and has an unclear role in carcinogenesis. In this study, we aimed to determine the role of WNT5A/ROR2 signaling in esophageal adenocarcinoma. Analysis of WNT5A and ROR2 expression patterns in healthy controls, Barrett and esophageal adenocarcinoma patients' esophageal clinical specimens as well as in various esophageal cell lines demonstrated a ROR2 overexpression in esophageal adenocarcinoma tissues compared with Barrett and healthy mucosa, whereas WNT5A expression was found significantly downregulated toward esophageal adenocarcinoma formation. Treatment of esophageal adenocarcinoma OE33 cells with human recombinant WNT5A (rhWNT5A) significantly suppressed proliferation, survival, and migration in a dose-dependent fashion. rhWNT5A was found to inhibit TOPflash activity in ROR2 wild-type cells, whereas increased TOPflash activity in ROR2-knockdown OE33 cells. In addition, ROR2 knockdown alone abolished cell proliferation and weakened the migration properties of OE33 cells. These findings support an early dysregulation of the noncanonical WNT5A/ROR2 pathway in the pathogenesis of esophageal adenocarcinoma, with the loss of WNT5A expression together with the ROR2 overexpression to be consistent with tumor promotion.

Implications: The dysregulation of WNT5A/ROR2 noncanonical WNT signaling in Barrett-associated esophageal adenocarcinoma introduces possible prognostic markers and novel targets for tailored therapy of this malignancy. Mol Cancer Res; 14(7); 647–59. ©2016 AACR.

Sunday, July 17, 2016 6:00 PM|Nikolaus Gassler|Cancers|Labels: electron transport, WNT, gastric
The wingless (Wnt) signaling is suggested as a fundamental hierarchical pathway in regulation of proliferation and differentiation of cells. The Wnt ligands are small proteins of about 40 kDa essentially for regulation and initiation of the Wnt activity. They are secreted proteins requiring acylation for activity in the Wnt signaling cascade and for functional interactivity with transmembrane proteins. Dual lipidation is important for posttranslational activation of the overwhelming number of Wnt proteins and is probably involved in their spatial distribution. The intestinal mucosa, where Wnt signaling is essential in configuration and maintenance, is an established model to study Wnt proteins and their role in carcinogenesis and cancer. The intestinal crypt-villus/crypt-plateau axis, a cellular system with self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation, is tightly coordinated by a Wnt gradient. In the review, some attention is given to Wnt3, Wnt3A, and Wnt2B as important members of the Wnt family to address the role of lipidation and modifiers of Wnt proteins in intestinal carcinogenesis. Wnt3 is an important player in establishing the Wnt gradient in intestinal crypts and is mainly produced by Paneth cells. Wnt2B is characterized as a mitochondrial protein and shuttles between mitochondria and the nucleus. Porcupine and ACSL5, a long-chain fatty acid activating enzyme, are introduced as modifiers of Wnts and as interesting strategy to targeting Wnt-driven carcinogenesis.
Friday, July 15, 2016 6:00 PM|Nicholas Tolwinski|Cancers|Labels: Trk, WNT
Human development uses a remarkably small number of signal transduction pathways to organize vastly complicated tissues. These pathways are commonly associated with disease in adults if activated inappropriately. One such signaling pathway, Wnt, solves the too few pathways conundrum by having many alternate pathways within the Wnt network. The main or “canonical” Wnt pathway has been studied in great detail, and among its numerous downstream components, several have been identified as drug targets that have led to cancer treatments currently in clinical trials. In contrast, the non-canonical Wnt pathways are less well characterized, and few if any possible drug targets exist to tackle cancers caused by dysregulation of these Wnt offshoots. In this review, we focus on two molecules—Protein Tyrosine Kinase 7 (Ptk7) and Mutated in Colorectal Cancer (Mcc)—that do not fit perfectly into the non-canonical pathways described to date and whose roles in cancer are ill defined. We will summarize work from our laboratories as well as many others revealing unexpected links between these two proteins and Wnt signaling both in cancer progression and during vertebrate and invertebrate embryonic development. We propose that future studies focused on delineating the signaling machinery downstream of Ptk7 and Mcc will provide new, hitherto unanticipated drug targets to combat cancer metastasis.
Thursday, July 14, 2016 6:00 PM|Mirna Lechpammer|Cancers|Labels: WNT, brain cancer
Research over the last decade recognized the importance of novel molecular pathways in pathogenesis of intracranial meningiomas. In this review, we focus on human brain tumours meningiomas and the involvement of Wnt signalling pathway genes and proteins in this common brain tumour, describing their known functional effects. Meningiomas originate from the meningeal layers of the brain and the spinal cord. Most meningiomas have benign clinical behaviour and are classified as grade I by World Health Organization (WHO). However, up to 20% histologically classified as atypical (grade II) or anaplastic (grade III) are associated with higher recurrent rate and have overall less favourable clinical outcome. Recently, there is emerging evidence that multiple signalling pathways including Wnt pathway contribute to the formation and growth of meningiomas. In the review we present the synopsis on meningioma histopathology and genetics and discuss our research regarding Wnt in meningioma. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, a process in which Wnt signalling plays an important role, is shortly discussed.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 6:00 PM|Vladimir Katanaev|Cancers|Labels: WNT
Aberrant WNT signaling underlies cancerous transformation and growth in many tissues, such as the colon, breast, liver, and others. Downregulation of the WNT pathway is a desired mode of development of targeted therapies against these cancers. Despite the urgent need, no WNT signaling-directed drugs currently exist, and only very few candidates have reached early phase clinical trials. Among different strategies to develop WNT-targeting anti-cancer therapies, repositioning of existing drugs previously approved for other diseases is a promising approach. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, the anti-leprotic clofazimine, and the anti-trypanosomal suramin are among examples of drugs having recently revealed WNT-targeting activities. In total, 16 human-use drug compounds have been found to be working through the WNT pathway and show promise for their prospective repositioning against various cancers. Advances, hurdles, and prospects of developing these molecules as potential drugs against WNT-dependent cancers, as well as approaches for discovering new ones for repositioning, are the foci of the current review.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016 6:00 PM|Yi Zeng|Cancers|Labels: WNT, breast cancer
The Wnt pathway has emerged as a key signaling cascade participating in mammary organogenesis and breast oncogenesis. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge of how the pathway regulates stem cells and normal development of the mammary gland, and discuss how its various components contribute to breast carcinoma pathology.
Thursday, June 30, 2016 11:00 PM|Seagle, Brandon-Luke L.; Dandapani, Monica; Yeh, Judy Y.; Shahabi, Shohreh|International Journal of Gynecological Cancer - Current Issue|Labels: WNT, ovarian cancer
imageObjective: Ovarian cancer is the gynecologic malignancy with the highest case-fatality rate due to the development of chemotherapy resistance. Predictors of chemotherapy response are needed to guide chemotherapy selection and improve survival for patients with ovarian cancer. Wnt signaling may impact chemoresistance in ovarian cancer. Methods: We studied The Cancer Genome Atlas patients with ovarian cancer treated with intraperitoneal or intravenous-only adjuvant chemotherapy. Cox regression tested associations of expression of 26 Wnt pathway genes with progression-free survival and overall survival. Permutation tests compared survival between chemotherapy groups stratified by expression. P values are two-tailed. Results: Increased FZD3 was associated with increased survival (intraperitoneal group, overall survival: hazard ratio [HR], 0.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.11–0.72, P = 0.009; progression-free survival: HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37–0.92, P = 0.020) (intravenous-only group, overall survival: HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.72–0.99, P = 0.039; progression-free survival: HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.73–0.95, P = 0.006). Low FZD3 predicted decreased overall survival after intraperitoneal versus intravenous-only chemotherapy (21.7 vs 33.3 months, P < 0.0001). Increased APC2 was associated with decreased overall survival (HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.05–1.42; P = 0.009) and progression-free survival (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.12–1.45; P = 0.0002). Conclusions: Up-regulated tumor Wnt signaling predicts increased ovarian cancer survival. FZD3 may predict benefit from intraperitoneal chemotherapy.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 6:00 PM|Hong-Sheng Zhou, Bing Z. Carter, Michael Andreeff|Cancer Biology & Medicine|Labels: WNT, AML, preclinical
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by the accumulation of circulating immature blasts that exhibit uncontrolledgrowth, lack the ability to undergo normal differentiation, and have decreased sensitivity to apoptosis. Accumulating evidenceshows the bone marrow (BM) niche is critical to the maintenance and retention of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), includingleukemia stem cells (LSC), and an increasing number of studies have demonstrated that crosstalk between LSC and the stromalcells associated with this niche greatly influences leukemia initiation, progression, and response to therapy. Undeniably, stromalcells in the BM niche provide a sanctuary in which LSC can acquire a drug-resistant phenotype and thereby evade chemotherapyinduceddeath. Yin and Yang, the ancient Chinese philosophical concept, vividly portrays the intricate and dynamic interactionsbetween LSC and the BM niche. In fact, LSC-induced microenvironmental reprogramming contributes significantly toleukemogenesis. Thus, identifying the critical signaling pathways involved in these interactions will contribute to targetoptimization and combinatorial drug treatment strategies to overcome acquired drug resistance and prevent relapse followingtherapy. In this review, we describe some of the critical signaling pathways mediating BM niche-LSC interaction, includingSDF1/CXCL12, Wnt/β-catenin, VCAM/VLA-4/NF-κB, CD44, and hypoxia as a newly-recognized physical determinant ofresistance, and outline therapeutic strategies for overcoming these resistance factors.
Monday, June 27, 2016 6:00 PM|Madeleine Carreau|Cancers|Labels: WNT
Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) is a secreted Wnt/β-catenin pathway antagonist involved in embryogenesis. It was first described 25 years ago for its function in head induction and limb morphogenesis. Since then, this protein has been widely studied in the context of active Wnt/β-catenin signalling during cellular differentiation and development. Dysregulation of DKK1 has been associated with bone pathologies and has now emerged as a potential biomarker of cancer progression and prognosis for several types of malignancies. Reducing the amount of circulating DKK1 may reveal a simple and efficient strategy to limit or reverse cancer growth. This review will provide an overview of the role of Dickkopf-1 in cancer and explore its potential use as a biomarker and therapeutic target.
Sunday, June 26, 2016 6:00 PM|Louis Vermeulen|Cancers|Labels: WNT
Aberrant regulation of Wnt signaling is a common theme seen across many tumor types. Decades of research have unraveled the epigenetic and genetic alterations that result in elevated Wnt pathway activity. More recently, it has become apparent that Wnt signaling levels identify stem-like tumor cells that are responsible for fueling tumor growth. As therapeutic targeting of these tumor stem cells is an intense area of investigation, a concise understanding on how Wnt activity relates to cancer stem cell traits is needed. This review attempts at summarizing the intricacies between Wnt signaling and cancer stem cell biology with a special emphasis on colorectal cancer.
Sunday, June 19, 2016 6:00 PM|Ulrike Stein|Cancers|Labels: WNT
The aberrant activity of Wnt signaling is an early step in the transformation of normal intestinal cells to malignant tissue, leading to more aggressive tumors, and eventually metastases. In colorectal cancer (CRC), metastasis accounts for about 90% of patient deaths, representing the most lethal event during the course of the disease and is directly linked to patient survival, critically limiting successful therapy. This review focuses on our studies of the metastasis-inducing gene S100A4, which we identified as transcriptional target of β-catenin. S100A4 increased migration and invasion in vitro and metastasis in mice. In patient CRC samples, high S100A4 levels predict metastasis and reduced patient survival. Our results link pathways important for tumor progression and metastasis: the Wnt signaling pathway and S100A4, which regulates motility and invasiveness. S100A4 suppression by interdicting Wnt signaling has potential for therapeutic intervention. As proof of principle, we applied S100A4 shRNA systemically and prevented metastasis in mice. Furthermore, we identified small molecule inhibitors from high-throughput screens of pharmacologically active compounds employing an S100A4 promoter-driven reporter. Best hits act, as least in part, via intervening in the Wnt pathway and restricted metastasis in mouse models. We currently translate our findings on restricting S100A4-driven metastasis into clinical practice. The repositioned FDA-approved drug niclosamide, targeting Wnt signaling, is being tested in a prospective phase II clinical trial for treatment of CRC patients. Our assay for circulating S100A4 transcripts in patient blood is used to monitor treatment success.
Thursday, June 16, 2016 6:00 PM|Seppo Vainio|Cancers|Labels: WNT, kidney cancer
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for 90% of all kidney cancers. Due to poor diagnosis, high resistance to the systemic therapies and the fact that most RCC cases occur sporadically, current research switched its focus on studying the molecular mechanisms underlying RCC. The aim is the discovery of new effective and less toxic anti-cancer drugs and novel diagnostic markers. Besides the PI3K/Akt/mTOR, HGF/Met and VHL/hypoxia cellular signaling pathways, the involvement of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in RCC is commonly studied. Wnt signaling and its targeted genes are known to actively participate in different biological processes during embryonic development and renal cancer. Recently, studies have shown that targeting this pathway by alternating/inhibiting its intracellular signal transduction can reduce cancer cells viability and inhibit their growth. The targets and drugs identified show promising potential to serve as novel RCC therapeutics and prognostic markers. This review aims to summarize the current status quo regarding recent research on RCC focusing on the involvement of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and how its understanding could facilitate the identification of potential therapeutic targets, new drugs and diagnostic biomarkers.
Aberrant activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is frequently found in various cancers, often through mutations of downstream components. Inhibiting β-catenin signaling in tumors with downstream pathway mutations remains challenging, due to a lack of favorable targets. On the other hand, targeting upstream components of the Wnt pathway is rather straightforward. However, it is difficult to identify tumors addicted to autocrine or paracrine Wnt signaling. Discovery of the R-spondin-ZNRF3/RNF43 signaling module and its genetic alterations in cancers represents a breakthrough in this area. Membrane E3 ligase ZNRF3 and RNF43 are critical negative feedback regulators of the Wnt pathway, which function through promoting ubiquitination and degradation of Wnt receptors. R-spondin proteins (RSPO1-4) serve as natural antagonists of ZNRF3/RNF43. To maintain strong and sustained Wnt/β-catenin signaling, cancers need to overcome ZNRF3/RNF43-mediated feedback inhibition. Indeed, mutations of RNF43/ZNRF3 and recurrent translocations of RSPO2/RSPO3 have recently been identified in various cancers. Significantly, genetic alterations in RNF43/ZNRF3/RSPO2/RSPO3 have shown promise as predictive biomarkers in pre-clinical models for the efficacy of upstream Wnt inhibitors. In this review, we will discuss the biology of the R-spondin-ZNRF3/RNF43 signaling module, cancer-associated alterations of this signaling module, and their value as biomarkers to identify Wnt-addicted tumors.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 10:05 PM|Borras, E., San Lucas, F. A., Chang, K., Zhou, R., Masand, G., Fowler, J., Mork, M. E., You, Y. N., Taggart, M. W., McAllister, F., Jones, D. A., Davies, G. E., Edelmann, W., Ehli, E. A., Lynch, P. M., Hawk, E. T., Capella, G., Scheet, P., Vilar, E.|Cancer Prevention Research recent issues|Labels: WNT, CRC, preclinical

The molecular basis of the adenoma-to-carcinoma transition has been deduced using comparative analysis of genetic alterations observed through the sequential steps of intestinal carcinogenesis. However, comprehensive genomic analyses of adenomas and at-risk mucosa are still lacking. Therefore, our aim was to characterize the genomic landscape of colonic at-risk mucosa and adenomas. We analyzed the mutation profile and copy number changes of 25 adenomas and adjacent mucosa from 12 familial adenomatous polyposis patients using whole-exome sequencing and validated allelic imbalances (AI) in 37 adenomas using SNP arrays. We assessed for evidence of clonality and performed estimations on the proportions of driver and passenger mutations using a systems biology approach. Adenomas had lower mutational rates than did colorectal cancers and showed recurrent alterations in known cancer driver genes (APC, KRAS, FBXW7, TCF7L2) and AIs in chromosomes 5, 7, and 13. Moreover, 80% of adenomas had somatic alterations in WNT pathway genes. Adenomas displayed evidence of multiclonality similar to stage I carcinomas. Strong correlations between mutational rate and patient age were observed in at-risk mucosa and adenomas. Our data indicate that at least 23% of somatic mutations are present in at-risk mucosa prior to adenoma initiation. The genomic profiles of at-risk mucosa and adenomas illustrate the evolution from normal tissue to carcinoma via greater resolution of molecular changes at the inflection point of premalignant lesions. Furthermore, substantial genomic variation exists in at-risk mucosa before adenoma formation, and deregulation of the WNT pathway is required to foster carcinogenesis. Cancer Prev Res; 9(6); 417–27. ©2016 AACR.

Sunday, May 22, 2016 6:00 PM|Gregory Yochum|Cancers|Labels: WNT, CRC
Mutations in components of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway drive colorectal cancer (CRC) by deregulating expression of downstream target genes including the c-MYC proto-oncogene (MYC). The critical regulatory DNA enhancer elements that control oncogenic MYC expression in CRC have yet to be fully elucidated. In previous reports, we correlated T-cell factor (TCF) and β-catenin binding to the MYC 3′ Wnt responsive DNA element (MYC 3′ WRE) with MYC expression in HCT116 cells. Here we used CRISPR/Cas9 to determine whether this element is a critical driver of MYC. We isolated a clonal population of cells that contained a deletion of a single TCF binding element (TBE) within the MYC 3′ WRE. This deletion reduced TCF/β-catenin binding to this regulatory element and decreased MYC expression. Using RNA-Seq analysis, we found altered expression of genes that regulate metabolic processes, many of which are known MYC target genes. We found that 3′ WRE-Mut cells displayed a reduced proliferative capacity, diminished clonogenic growth, and a decreased potential to form tumors in vivo. These findings indicate that the MYC 3′ WRE is a critical driver of oncogenic MYC expression and suggest that this element may serve as a therapeutic target for CRC.
Monday, May 16, 2016 6:00 PM|Elizabeth Vincan|Cancers|Labels: WNT
Frizzled7 is arguably the most studied member of the Frizzled family, which are the cognate Wnt receptors. Frizzled7 is highly conserved through evolution, from Hydra through to humans, and is expressed in diverse organisms, tissues and human disease contexts. Frizzled receptors can homo- or hetero-polymerise and associate with several co-receptors to transmit Wnt signalling. Notably, Frizzled7 can transmit signalling via multiple Wnt transduction pathways and bind to several different Wnt ligands, Frizzled receptors and co-receptors. These promiscuous binding and functional properties are thought to underlie the pivotal role Frizzled7 plays in embryonic developmental and stem cell function. Recent studies have identified that Frizzled7 is upregulated in diverse human cancers, and promotes proliferation, progression and invasion, and orchestrates cellular transitions that underscore cancer metastasis. Importantly, Frizzled7 is able to regulate Wnt signalling activity even in cancer cells which have mutations to down-stream signal transducers. In this review we discuss the various aspects of Frizzled7 signalling and function, and the implications these have for therapeutic targeting of Frizzled7 in cancer.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 6:00 PM|Avri Ben-Ze’ev|Cancers|Labels: WNT, CRC
The Wnt-β-catenin signaling pathway is highly conserved during evolution and determines normal tissue homeostasis. Hyperactivation of Wnt-β-catenin signaling is a characteristic feature of colorectal cancer (CRC) development. β-catenin is a major transducer of the Wnt signal from the cytoplasm into the nucleus where it acts as a co-transcriptional activator of β-catenin-TCF target genes. β-catenin is also required for linking cadherin type cell-cell adhesion receptors to the cytoskeleton, and consequently Wnt-β-catenin signaling is an attractive system for investigating the role of adhesion-mediated signaling in both normal intestinal tissue homeostasis and CRC development. In this review, we summarize our studies on one Wnt-β-catenin target gene, L1, a member of the immunoglobulin-like cell adhesion transmembrane receptor family. We describe the mechanisms of L1-mediated signaling in CRC cells, its exclusive localization in invasive areas of CRC tissue, and its ability to increase cell motility and confer metastasis to the liver. We discuss the activation (by L1) of genes via an ezrin-NF-κB pathway and the induction of genes also found in the intestinal stem cell signature. By studying L1 (adhesion)-mediated signaling, we expect to learn about mechanisms regulating both normal intestinal homeostasis and CRC development.
Thursday, April 28, 2016 9:59 AM|BILLFELDT, N. K., BANYAI, D., KOVACS, G.|Anticancer Research recent issues|Labels: WNT, kidney cancer

Background/Aim: The canonical β-catenin pathway is involved in the development of Wilms' tumor, but its role in adult renal cell tumors (RCT) of embryonal origin is not yet known. Materials and Methods: We sequenced the catenin beta 1 (CTNNB1) gene in papillary RCTs, applied the TOPflash/FOPflash reporter plasmid system on cell lines, and examined the β-catenin protein expression by immunohistochemistry. Results: The absence of mutations in CTNNB1 and low TOPflash/FOPflash ratio in tumor cell lines indicated the absence of active Wingless-type MMTV integration site family (WNT) signaling in RCTs. The weakly cytoplasmic tending towards membranous expression of β-catenin in RCT is analogous to cellular differentiation in the embryonal kidney rather than tumorigenic activation of WNT signaling. Conclusion: The localization of β-catenin in papillary RCT, metanephric adenoma and mucinous tubular and spindle-cell carcinoma corresponds to that of emerging tubules of kidney at distinct stage of maturation, indicating their embryonal origin.

Sunday, March 20, 2016 5:00 PM|Cancer|Cancer via MedWorm.com|Comments|Labels: WNT, gastric
CONCLUSIONSThis genomic characterization of duodenal adenocarcinoma provides researchers with insight into its somatic landscape and highlights the vital role of the Wnt/β‐catenin signaling pathway. The study data also indicate that duodenal adenocarcinomas have a genetic resemblance to gastric and colorectal cancers. These discoveries may benefit the future development of molecular diagnosis and personalized therapies. Cancer 2016. © 2016 American Cancer Society. (Source: Cancer)
Sunday, March 13, 2016 5:00 PM|Cancer Research|MedWorm: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer|Comments|Labels: WNT, lung cancer, preclinical
Dysregulation of MYC expression is a hallmark of cancer, but the development of agents that target MYC has remained challenging. The oncogenic MUC1-C transmembrane protein is, like MYC, aberrantly expressed in diverse human cancers. The present studies demonstrate that MUC1-C induces MYC expression in KRAS mutant non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells, an effect that can be suppressed by targeting MUC1-C via shRNA silencing, CRISPR editing, or pharmacologic inhibition with GO-203. MUC1-C activated the WNT/β-catenin (CTNNB1) pathway and promoted occupancy of MUC1-C/β-catenin/TCF4 complexes on the MYC promoter. MUC1-C also promoted the recruitment of the p300 histone acetylase (EP300) and, in turn, induced histone H3 acetylation and activation of MYC gene transcription. We also show th...
Thursday, March 10, 2016 8:16 AM|Journal of Korean Medical Science|MedWorm: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer|Comments|Labels: WNT, lung cancer, preclinical
Authors: Yoo SS, Hong MJ, Choi JE, Lee JH, Baek SA, Lee WK, Lee SY, Lee SY, Lee J, Cha SI, Kim CH, Cho S, Park JY Abstract Recently, genetic variants in the WNT signaling pathway have been reported to affect the survival outcome of Caucasian patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We therefore attempted to determine whether these same WNT signaling pathway gene variants had similar impacts on the survival outcome of NSCLC patients in a Korean population. A total of 761 patients with stages I-IIIA NSCLC were enrolled in this study. Eight variants of WNT pathway genes were genotyped and their association with overall survival and disease-free survival were analyzed. None of the eight variants were significantly associated with overall survival or disease-free su...
Sunday, February 28, 2016 4:00 PM|Molecular Cancer Research|MedWorm: Carcinoma in Situ|Comments|Labels: EGFR, WNT, breast cancer
Conclusion: BCL9 is a molecular driver of DCIS invasive progression. The molecular mechanism for BCL9's role in breast cancer progression is through the enhancement in the canonical Wnt and EGFR signaling.Citation Format: Hanan Elsarraj, Hong Yan, Jennifer Knapp, Anna Tsimelzon, Shixia Huang, Andrew Godwin, Sue Hilsenbeck, Dean Edwards, Fariba Behbod. B cell lymphoma 9 mediates a cross talk between the canonical Wnt and EGFR signaling in breast cancer. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Special Conference on Advances in Breast Cancer Research; Oct 17-20, 2015; Bellevue, WA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Mol Cancer Res 2016;14(2_Suppl):Abstract nr B01. (Source: Molecular Cancer Research)
Monday, February 22, 2016 4:00 PM|Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters|Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters via MedWorm.com|Comments|Labels: WNT, CRC
Authors: Radwan AA, Al-Mohanna F, Alanazi FK, Manogaran PS, Al-Dhfyan A Abstract Cell surface molecule CD44 plays a major role in regulation of cancer stem cells CSCs on both phenotypic and functional level, however chemical inhibition approach of CD44 to targets CSCs is poorly studied. Herein, we report the discovery of certain N'-(2-oxoindolin-3-ylidene)-2-(benzyloxy)benzohydrazides as a novel inhibitor of CD44. Molecular docking study showed interference of the scaffold of these compounds with β-catenin/TCF-4 complex, building a direct relationship between CD44 inhibition and observed well-fitted binding domain. Compound 11a, most potent member elicits inhibition effect on TCF/LEF reporter activity conformed the involvement of Wnt pathway inhibition as a mechanism of action. Fu...
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 4:00 PM|Journal of Theoretical Biology|MedWorm: Cancer Therapy|Comments|Labels: WNT
Publication date: 21 March 2016 Source:Journal of Theoretical Biology, Volume 393 Author(s): Hemn Mohammadpour, Ali Akbar Pourfathollah, Mahin Nikougoftar Zarif, Saeed Khalili Dkk3 is a member of Dkk family proteins, regulating Wnt signaling. Dkk3 plays different roles in human and mouse tumors. Dkk3 predominantly act as a tumor suppressor, however several reports revealed that Dkk3 could accelerate cancer cell proliferation. Herein, we aimed at launching an in silico study to determine Dkk3 structure and its interactions with Kremen and LRP as Wnt signaling receptors as well as EGF receptor. Using various softwares a model was built for Dkk3 molecule. Different protein modeling approaches along with model refinement processes were employed to arrive at the final model. To achieve th...

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