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A review of the evidence for the canonical Wnt pathway in autism spectrum disorders  [cached]
Kalkman Hans
Molecular Autism , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/2040-2392-3-10
Abstract: Microdeletion and microduplication copy number variations are found in patients with autism spectrum disorder and in a number of cases they include genes that are involved in the canonical Wnt signaling pathway (for example, FZD9, BCL9 or CDH8). Association studies investigating WNT2, DISC1, MET, DOCK4 or AHI1 also provide evidence that the canonical Wnt pathway might be affected in autism. Prenatal medication with sodium-valproate or antidepressant drugs increases autism risk. In animal studies, it has been found that these medications promote Wnt signaling, including among others an increase in Wnt2 gene expression. Notably, the available genetic information indicates that not only canonical Wnt pathway activation, but also inhibition seems to increase autism risk. The canonical Wnt pathway plays a role in dendrite growth and suboptimal activity negatively affects the dendritic arbor. In principle, this provides a logical explanation as to why both hypo- and hyperactivity may generate a similar set of behavioral and cognitive symptoms. However, without a validated biomarker to stratify for deviant canonical Wnt pathway activity, it is probably too dangerous to treat patients with compounds that modify pathway activity.
Disruption of the Non-Canonical WNT Pathway in Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Eric H.L. Lee,Raj Chari,Andy Lam,Raymond T. Ng
Clinical Medicine : Oncology , 2008,
Abstract: Disruptions of beta-catenin and the canonical Wnt pathway are well documented in cancer. However, little is known of the non-canonical branch of the Wnt pathway. In this study, we investigate the transcript level patterns of genes in the Wnt pathway in squamous cell lung cancer using reverse-transcriptase (RT)-PCR. It was found that over half of the samples examined exhibited dysregulated gene expression of multiple components of the non-canonical branch of the WNT pathway. In the cases where beta catenin (CTNNB1) was not over-expressed, we identified strong relationships of expression between wingless-type MMTV integration site family member 5A (WNT5A)/frizzled homolog 2 (FZD2), frizzled homolog 3 (FZD3)/dishevelled 2 (DVL2), and low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5)/secreted frizzled-related protein 4 (SFRP4). This is one of the first studies to demonstrate expression of genes in the non-canonical pathway in normal lung tissue and its disruption in lung squamous cell carcinoma. These findings suggest that the non-canonical pathway may have a more prominent role in lung cancer than previously reported
A Systematic Screen for Micro-RNAs Regulating the Canonical Wnt Pathway  [PDF]
Roman Anton, Sujash S. Chatterjee, Julia Simundza, Pamela Cowin, Ramanuj DasGupta
PLOS ONE , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026257
Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRs) and the canonical Wnt pathway are known to be dysregulated in human cancers and play key roles during cancer initiation and progression. To identify miRs that can modulate the activity of the Wnt pathway we performed a cell-based overexpression screen of 470 miRs in human HEK293 cells. We identified 38 candidate miRs that either activate or repress the canonical Wnt pathway. A literature survey of all verified candidate miRs revealed that the Wnt-repressing miRs tend to be anti-oncomiRs and down-regulated in cancers while Wnt-activating miRs tend to be oncomiRs and upregulated during tumorigenesis. Epistasis-based functional validation of three candidate miRs, miR-1, miR-25 and miR-613, confirmed their inhibitory role in repressing the Wnt pathway and suggest that while miR-25 may function at the level of a-catenin (β-cat), miR-1 and miR-613 act upstream of β-cat. Both miR-25 and miR-1 inhibit cell proliferation and viability during selection of human colon cancer cell lines that exhibit dysregulated Wnt signaling. Finally, transduction of miR-1 expressing lentiviruses into primary mammary organoids derived from Conductin-lacZ mice significantly reduced the expression of the Wnt-sensitive β-gal reporter. In summary, these findings suggest the potential use of Wnt-modulating miRs as diagnostic and therapeutic tools in Wnt-dependent diseases, such as cancer.
Canonical Wnt signalling requires the BMP pathway to inhibit oligodendrocyte maturation  [cached]
Keith Feigenson,Mary Reid,Jill See,E Bryan Crenshaw III
ASN Neuro , 2011, DOI: 10.1042/an20110004
Abstract: OLs (oligodendrocytes) are the myelinating cells of the CNS (central nervous system), wrapping axons in conductive sheathes to ensure effective transmission of neural signals. The regulation of OL development, from precursor to mature myelinating cell, is controlled by a variety of inhibitory and inductive signalling factors. The dorsal spinal cord contains signals that inhibit OL development, possibly to prevent premature and ectopic precursor differentiation. The Wnt and BMP (bone morphogenic protein) signalling pathways have been identified as dorsal spinal cord signals with overlapping temporal activity, and both have similar inhibitory effects on OL differentiation. Both these pathways feature prominently in many developmental processes and demyelinating events after injury, and they are known to interact in complex inductive, inhibitive and synergistic manners in many developing systems. The interaction between BMP and Wnt signalling in OL development, however, has not been extensively explored. In the present study, we examine the relationship between the canonical Wnt and BMP pathways. We use pharmacological and genetic paradigms to show that both Wnt3a and BMP4 will inhibit OL differentiation in vitro. We also show that when the canonical BMP signalling pathway is blocked, neither Wnt3a nor BMP4 have inhibitory effects on OL differentiation. In contrast, abrogating the Wnt signalling pathway does not alter the actions of BMP4 treatment. Our results indicate that the BMP signalling pathway is necessary for the canonical Wnt signalling pathway to exert its effects on OL development, but not vice versa, suggesting that Wnt signals upstream of BMP.
Macrophages Mediate a Switch between Canonical and Non-Canonical Wnt Pathways in Canine Mammary Tumors  [PDF]
Magdalena Król, Joanna Mucha, Kinga Majchrzak, Agata Homa, Ma?gorzata Bulkowska, Alicja Majewska, Ma?gorzata Gajewska, Marta Pietrzak, Miko?aj Perszko, Karolina Romanowska, Karol Paw?owski, Elisabetta Manuali, Eva Hellmen, Tomasz Motyl
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083995
Abstract: Objective According to the current hypothesis, tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are “corrupted” by cancer cells and subsequently facilitate, rather than inhibit, tumor metastasis. Because the molecular mechanisms of cancer cell–TAM interactions are complicated and controversial we aimed to better define this phenomenon. Methods and Results Using microRNA microarrays, Real-time qPCR and Western blot we showed that co-culture of canine mammary tumor cells with TAMs or treatment with macrophage-conditioned medium inhibited the canonical Wnt pathway and activated the non-canonical Wnt pathway in tumor cells. We also showed that co-culture of TAMs with tumor cells increased expression of canonical Wnt inhibitors in TAMs. Subsequently, we demonstrated macrophage-induced invasive growth patterns and epithelial–mesenchymal transition of tumor cells. Validation of these results in canine mammary carcinoma tissues (n = 50) and xenograft tumors indicated the activation of non-canonical and canonical Wnt pathways in metastatic tumors and non-metastatic malignancies, respectively. Activation of non-canonical Wnt pathway correlated with number of TAMs. Conclusions We demonstrated that TAMs mediate a “switch” between canonical and non-canonical Wnt signaling pathways in canine mammary tumors, leading to increased tumor invasion and metastasis. Interestingly, similar changes in neoplastic cells were observed in the presence of macrophage-conditioned medium or live macrophages. These observations indicate that rather than being “corrupted” by cancer cells, TAMs constitutively secrete canonical Wnt inhibitors that decrease tumor proliferation and development, but as a side effect, they induce the non-canonical Wnt pathway, which leads to tumor metastasis. These data challenge the conventional understanding of TAM–cancer cell interactions.
Autocrine WNT signaling contributes to breast cancer cell proliferation via the canonical WNT pathway and EGFR transactivation
Thomas Schlange, Yutaka Matsuda, Susanne Lienhard, Alexandre Huber, Nancy E Hynes
Breast Cancer Research , 2007, DOI: 10.1186/bcr1769
Abstract: Using the WNT modulator sFRP1 and short interfering RNA-mediated Dishevelled (DVL) knockdown, we interfered with autocrine WNT signaling at the ligand-receptor level. The impact on proliferation was measured by cell counting, YOPRO, and the MTT (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide) assay; β-catenin, EGFR, ERK1/2 activation, and PARP (poly [ADP-ribose]polymerase) cleavages were assessed by Western blotting after treatment of human breast cancer cell lines with conditioned media, purified proteins, small-molecule inhibitors, or blocking antibodies.Phospho-DVL and stabilized β-catenin are present in many breast tumor cell lines, indicating autocrine WNT signaling activity. Interfering with this loop decreases active β-catenin levels, lowers ERK1/2 activity, blocks proliferation, and induces apoptosis in MDA-MB-231, BT474, SkBr3, JIMT-1, and MCF-7 cells. The effects of WNT signaling are mediated partly by EGFR transactivation in human breast cancer cells in a metalloprotease- and Src-dependent manner. Furthermore, Wnt1 rescues estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer cells from the anti-proliferative effects of 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-HT) and this activity can be blocked by an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor.Our data show that interference with autocrine WNT signaling in human breast cancer reduces proliferation and survival of human breast cancer cells and rescues ER+ tumor cells from 4-HT by activation of the canonical WNT pathway and EGFR transactivation. These findings suggest that interference with WNT signaling at the ligand-receptor level in combination with other targeted therapies may improve the efficiency of breast cancer treatments.Growth factors of the wingless and integration site growth factor (WNT) family are secreted, glycosylated, and palmitoylated peptides that interact with seven-transmembrane receptors of the Frizzled (FZD) family. Diverse signaling pathways are activated upon WNT/FZD binding. The ligand/receptor interac
Human Cytomegalovirus Infection Dysregulates the Canonical Wnt/β-catenin Signaling Pathway  [PDF]
Magdalena Angelova,Kevin Zwezdaryk,MaryBeth Ferris,Bin Shan,Cindy A. Morris,Deborah E. Sullivan
PLOS Pathogens , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002959
Abstract: Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous herpesvirus that currently infects a large percentage of the world population. Although usually asymptomatic in healthy individuals, HCMV infection during pregnancy may cause spontaneous abortions, premature delivery, or permanent neurological disabilities in infants infected in utero. During infection, the virus exerts control over a multitude of host signaling pathways. Wnt/β-catenin signaling, an essential pathway involved in cell cycle control, differentiation, embryonic development, placentation and metastasis, is frequently dysregulated by viruses. How HCMV infection affects this critical pathway is not currently known. In this study, we demonstrate that HCMV dysregulates Wnt/β-catenin signaling in dermal fibroblasts and human placental extravillous trophoblasts. Infection inhibits Wnt-induced transcriptional activity of β-catenin and expression of β-catenin target genes in these cells. HCMV infection leads to β-catenin protein accumulation in a discrete juxtanuclear region. Levels of β-catenin in membrane-associated and cytosolic pools, as well as nuclear β-catenin, are reduced after infection; while transcription of the β-catenin gene is unchanged, suggesting enhanced degradation. Given the critical role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in cellular processes, these findings represent a novel and important mechanism whereby HCMV disrupts normal cellular function.
Impact of Laminitis on the Canonical Wnt Signaling Pathway in Basal Epithelial Cells of the Equine Digital Laminae  [PDF]
Le Wang, Erica A. Pawlak, Philip J. Johnson, James K. Belknap, Susan Eades, Sharon Stack, Helene Cousin, Samuel J. Black
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056025
Abstract: The digital laminae is a two layer tissue that attaches the distal phalanx to the inner hoof wall, thus suspending the horse's axial skeleton in the hoof capsule. This tissue fails at the epidermal:dermal junction in laminitic horses, causing crippling disease. Basal epithelial cells line the laminar epidermal:dermal junction, undergo physiological change in laminitic horses, and lose versican gene expression. Versican gene expression is purportedly under control of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway and is a trigger for mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition; thus, its repression in laminar epithelial cells of laminitic horses may be associated with suppression of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway and loss of the epithelial cell phenotype. In support of the former contention, we show, using laminae from healthy horses and horses with carbohydrate overload-induced laminitis, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting after sodium dodecylsulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and immunofluorescent tissue staining, that positive and negative regulatory components of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway are expressed in laminar basal epithelial cells of healthy horses. Furthermore, expression of positive regulators is suppressed and negative regulators elevated in laminae of laminitic compared to healthy horses. We also show that versican gene expression in the epithelial cells correlates positively with that of β-catenin and T-cell Factor 4, consistent with regulation by the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. In addition, gene and protein expression of β-catenin correlates positively with that of integrin β4 and both are strongly suppressed in laminar basal epithelial cells of laminitic horses, which remain E-cadherin+/vimentin?, excluding mesenchymal transition as contributing to loss of the adherens junction and hemidesmosome components. We propose that suppression of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway, and accompanying reduced expression of β catenin and integrin β4 in laminar basal epithelial cells reduces cell:cell and cell:basement membrane attachment, thus, destabilizing the laminar epidermal:dermal junction.
Developmental Lead Exposure Alters Synaptogenesis through Inhibiting Canonical Wnt Pathway In Vivo and In Vitro  [PDF]
Fan Hu, Li Xu, Zhi-Hua Liu, Meng-Meng Ge, Di-Yun Ruan, Hui-Li Wang
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101894
Abstract: Lead (Pb) exposure has been implicated in the impairment of synaptic plasticity in the developing hippocampus, but the mechanism remains unclear. Here, we investigated whether developmental lead exposure affects the dendritic spine formation through Wnt signaling pathway in vivo and in vitro. Sprague–Dawley rats were exposed to lead throughout the lactation period and Golgi-Cox staining method was used to examine the spine density of pyramidal neurons in the hippocampal CA1 area of rats. We found that lead exposure significantly decreased the spine density in both 14 and 21 days-old pups, accompanied by a significant age-dependent decline of the Wnt7a expression and stability of its downstream protein (β-catenin). Furthermore, in cultured hippocampal neurons, lead (0.1 and 1 μM lead acetate) significantly decreased the spine density in a dose-dependent manner. Exogenous Wnt7a application attenuated the decrease of spine density and increased the stability of the downstream molecules in Wnt signaling pathway. Together, our results suggest that lead has a negative impact on spine outgrowth in the developing hippocampus through altering the canonical Wnt pathway.
KCTD1 Suppresses Canonical Wnt Signaling Pathway by Enhancing β-catenin Degradation  [PDF]
Xinxin Li, Cheng Chen, Fangmei Wang, Wenhuan Huang, Zhongheng Liang, Yuzhong Xiao, Ke Wei, Zhenxing Wan, Xiang Hu, Shuanglin Xiang, Xiaofeng Ding, Jian Zhang
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094343
Abstract: The canonical Wnt signaling pathway controls normal embryonic development, cellular proliferation and growth, and its aberrant activity results in human carcinogenesis. The core component in regulation of this pathway is β-catenin, but molecular regulation mechanisms of β-catenin stability are not completely known. Here, our recent studies have shown that KCTD1 strongly inhibits TCF/LEF reporter activity. Moreover, KCTD1 interacted with β-catenin both in vivo by co-immunoprecipitation as well as in vitro through GST pull-down assays. We further mapped the interaction regions to the 1-9 armadillo repeats of β-catenin and the BTB domain of KCTD1, especially Position Ala-30 and His-33. Immunofluorescence analysis indicated that KCTD1 promotes the cytoplasmic accumulation of β-catenin. Furthermore, protein stability assays revealed that KCTD1 enhances the ubiquitination/degradation of β-catenin in a concentration-dependent manner in HeLa cells. And the degradation of β-catenin mediated by KCTD1 was alleviated by the proteasome inhibitor, MG132. In addition, KCTD1-mediated β-catenin degradation was dependent on casein kinase 1 (CK1)- and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β)-mediated phosphorylation and enhanced by the E3 ubiquitin ligase β-transducin repeat-containing protein (β-TrCP). Moreover, KCTD1 suppressed the expression of endogenous Wnt downstream genes and transcription factor AP-2α. Finally, we found that Wnt pathway member APC and tumor suppressor p53 influence KCTD1-mediated downregulation of β-catenin. These results suggest that KCTD1 functions as a novel inhibitor of Wnt signaling pathway.
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