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Spiperone enhances intracellular calcium level and inhibits the Wnt signaling pathway

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Abstract:

Background Wnt signaling affects fundamental development pathways by regulating cell proliferation and differentiation. Aberrant activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling promotes the development of several cancers and is an attractive target for chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agents. Results In order to identify the novel antagonists for the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, we employed a cell-based Wnt reporter system (TOPflash) to screen a library of 960 known drugs. We identified spiperone, a psychotropic drug, as a novel Wnt inhibitor, which specifically blocks canonical Wnt signaling prior to the activation of β-catenin. The Wnt inhibitory function of spiperone is not associated with its dopamine-, serotonin- and sigma-receptor antagonist properties. Instead, spiperone increases intracellular calcium levels in a similar manner to thapsigargin, that also impedes Wnt signal transduction. Inhibition of protein kinase C had no effect on spiperone-mediated antagonism of Wnt signaling. Conclusion Spiperone is a calcium regulator. It inhibits Wnt signaling by enhancing intracellular calcium levels.

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