Gene Summary

Gene:WNT5A; Wnt family member 5A
Aliases: hWNT5A
Summary:The WNT gene family consists of structurally related genes which encode secreted signaling proteins. These proteins have been implicated in oncogenesis and in several developmental processes, including regulation of cell fate and patterning during embryogenesis. This gene encodes a member of the WNT family that signals through both the canonical and non-canonical WNT pathways. This protein is a ligand for the seven transmembrane receptor frizzled-5 and the tyrosine kinase orphan receptor 2. This protein plays an essential role in regulating developmental pathways during embryogenesis. This protein may also play a role in oncogenesis. Mutations in this gene are the cause of autosomal dominant Robinow syndrome. Alternate splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Jan 2012]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:protein Wnt-5a
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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

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

Latest Publications: WNT5A (cancer-related)

Zhou X, Yan L, Bu XL, et al.
Arotinoid trometamol inhibits arsenic trioxide-stimulated keratinocyte proliferation via the Wnt, Shh, and bone morphogenetic protein signaling pathways.
J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2019 May-Jun; 33(3):731-743 [PubMed] Related Publications
Arsenic acts as a human carcinogen and contributes to skin cancer via mechanisms that remain largely unknown. Recent evidence implicates the perturbation of Wnt, Shh and BMP signals as a potential mechanism. We initiated studies to examine gene expression changes in these signaling pathways. Meanwhile, the antagonistic effect of retinoic acid was explored. In this study, HaCaT and NHEK cells were treated with arsenic trioxide (As2O3) alone or in combination with arotinoid trometamol (retinoic acid receptor agonist). Flow cytometric analysis, PCR array and Western blot were used to determine the potential mechanism and signaling pathways associated with arsenic carcinogenesis. The results showed that low concentration As2O3 could stimulate keratinocyte proliferation, and arotinoid trometamol inhibited the process via regulating the expression of about 20 genes. These genes included components of Wnt signaling (CSNK1A1L, CTNNB1, SFRP1, Wnt10B, Wnt11, Wnt16, Wnt5A, Wnt8A), Shh signaling (C6orf138, HHIP, PTCHD1) and BMP signaling pathway (BMP2, BMP7). The changes of some differentially expressed genes of these signaling pathways in As2O3 treatment group were counteracted by the subsequent arotinoid trometamol treatment. Our data suggest that dysregulation and cross-talk of Wnt, Shh and BMP signals play great roles in the process of arsenic-induced carcinogenesis, which could be antagonized by arotinoid trometamol.

Wasniewski T, Kiezun J, Krazinski BE, et al.
WNT5A gene and protein expression in endometrial cancer.
Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2019; 57(2):84-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: WNT5A (Wnt family member 5A) belongs to the WNT family of secreted signaling glycoproteins that play essential role in developmental, physiological and pathological processes. WNT5A was shown to take part in carcinogenesis process playing both oncogenic and suppressor functions in various types of human malignancies. This study aimed to assess the expression of the WNT5A gene at the mRNA and protein levels in the specimens derived from endometrial cancer (EC) or unchanged control endometrium. The associations between the WNT5A expression levels and clinicopathological characteristics and survival of EC patients were evaluated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Total RNA was isolated in order to assess the relative amounts of WNT5A mRNA by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) in samples of unchanged endometrial control (n = 8) and tumor samples of EC patients (n = 28). Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to determine the presence of WNT5A protein in the sections of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue specimens derived from unchanged endome-trial controls (n = 6) and EC tumors (n = 19). Significance of differences in WNT5A expression levels between the studied groups of EC patients and correlations between the WNT5A and demographic data, pathological features, hematological parameters and overall survival of the patients were evaluated by statistical analysis.
RESULTS: The level of WNT5A mRNA was decreased in EC in comparison to unchanged endometrium. WNT5A expression was associated with primary tumor invasion status exhibiting reduced level of transcripts in EC that involved organs beyond the uterus when compared to the uterus-confined cancers. WNT5A immunoreactivity was visualized in the cytoplasm and nuclei of EC cells as well as in the luminal and glandular epithelial cells of unchanged endometrium. WNT5A mRNA expression levels correlated negatively with cytoplasmic, and positively with nuclear immunoreactivity of the WNT5A protein in the EC cells. In addition, the relationships between blood leucocyte count (in particular granulocytes and lymphocytes) of patients with EC and their WNT5A mRNA and protein expression levels were established. A positive correlation between the nuclear immunoexpression of WNT5A protein in the cancer cells in cell nuclei and mean platelet volume in blood was also found.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the first study of WNT5A expression at the transcript and protein levels indicate that it could be considered as a potential marker of molecular changes that take place during EC development.

Guo W, Hu M, Wu J, et al.
Gprc5a depletion enhances the risk of smoking-induced lung tumorigenesis and mortality.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2019; 114:108791 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer incidence and mortality. Although cigarette smoke is regarded as a high risk factor for lung tumor initiation, the role of the lung tumor suppressor GPRC5A in smoking-induced lung cancer is unclear.
MAIN METHODS: We obtained two lung cancer cohorts from the TCGA and GEO databases. Bioinformatics analysis showed differential gene expression in the cohorts. Quantitative real-time PCR, Western Blot and Gprc5a
KEY FINDINGS: Bioinformatics analysis showed that the smoking lung cancer patients with low expression of GPRC5A had poor overall survival compared to the patients with high GPRC5A expression. Further analysis revealed that cancer-related stemness pathways such as the Hippo signaling pathway were induced in smoking patients with low GPRC5A expression. Additionally, we detected enriched expression of WNT5A and DLX5 in normal human lung epithelial 16HBE cells and human lung cancer H1299 cells in vitro. A relationship between cigarette smoke extract (NNK) and lung tumor initiation was observed in Gprc5a
SIGNIFICANCE: The lung tumor suppressor gene GPRC5A played a protective role in cigarette smoke-induced lung tumor initiation, providing a target for the prevention of lung cancer development and monitoring of prognosis.

Götzel K, Chemnitzer O, Maurer L, et al.
In-depth characterization of the Wnt-signaling/β-catenin pathway in an in vitro model of Barrett's sequence.
BMC Gastroenterol. 2019; 19(1):38 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: An altered Wnt-signaling activation has been reported during Barrett's esophagus progression, but with rarely detected mutations in APC and β-catenin (CTNNB1) genes.
METHODS: In this study, a robust in-depth expression pattern analysis of frizzled receptors, co-receptors, the Wnt-ligands Wnt3a and Wnt5a, the Wnt-signaling downstream targets Axin2, and CyclinD1, as well as the activation of the intracellular signaling kinases Akt and GSK3β was performed in an in vitro cell culture model of Barrett's esophagus. Representing the Barrett's sequence, we used normal esophageal squamous epithelium (EPC-1, EPC-2), metaplasia (CP-A) and dysplasia (CP-B) to esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) cell lines (OE33, OE19) and primary specimens of squamous epithelium, metaplasia and EAC.
RESULTS: A loss of Wnt3a expression was observed beginning from the metaplastic cell line CP-A towards dysplasia (CP-B) and EAC (OE33 and OE19), confirmed by a lower staining index of WNT3A in Barrett's metaplasia and EAC, than in squamous epithelium specimens. Frizzled 1-10 expression analysis revealed a distinct expression pattern, showing the highest expression for Fzd2, Fzd3, Fzd4, Fzd5, Fzd7, and the co-receptor LRP5/6 in EAC cells, while Fzd3 and Fzd7 were rarely expressed in primary specimens from squamous epithelium.
CONCLUSION: Despite the absence of an in-depth characterization of Wnt-signaling-associated receptors in Barrett's esophagus, by showing variations of the Fzd- and co-receptor profiles, we provide evidence to have a significant role during Barrett's progression and the underlying pathological mechanisms.

Gu ZW, He YF, Wang WJ, et al.
MiR-1180 from bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells induces glycolysis and chemoresistance in ovarian cancer cells by upregulating the Wnt signaling pathway.
J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2019 Mar.; 20(3):219-237 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) play an important role in cancer development and progression. However, the mechanism by which they enhance the chemoresistance of ovarian cancer is unknown.
METHODS: Conditioned media of BM-MSCs (BM-MSC-CM) were analyzed using a technique based on microRNA arrays. The most highly expressed microRNAs were selected for testing their effects on glycolysis and chemoresistance in SKOV3 and COC1 ovarian cancer cells. The targeted gene and related signaling pathway were investigated using in silico analysis and in vitro cancer cell models. Kaplan-Merier survival analysis was performed on a population of 59 patients enrolled to analyze the clinical significance of microRNA findings in the prognosis of ovarian cancer.
RESULTS: MiR-1180 was the most abundant microRNA detected in BM-MSC-CM, which simultaneously induces glycolysis and chemoresistance (against cisplatin) in ovarian cancer cells. The secreted frizzled-related protein 1 (SFRP1) gene was identified as a major target of miR-1180. The overexpression of miR-1180 led to the activation of Wnt signaling and its downstream components, namely Wnt5a, β-catenin, c-Myc, and CyclinD1, which are responsible for glycolysis-induced chemoresistance. The miR-1180 level was inversely correlated with SFRP1 mRNA expression in ovarian cancer tissue. The overexpressed miR-1180 was associated with a poor prognosis for the long-term (96-month) survival of ovarian cancer patients.
CONCLUSIONS: BM-MSCs enhance the chemoresistance of ovarian cancer by releasing miR-1180. The released miR-1180 activates the Wnt signaling pathway in cancer cells by targeting SFRP1. The enhanced Wnt signaling upregulates the glycolytic level (i.e. Warburg effect), which reinforces the chemoresistance property of ovarian cancer cells.

Yang X, Huang WT, Wu HY, et al.
Novel drug candidate for the treatment of several soft‑tissue sarcoma histologic subtypes: A computational method using survival‑associated gene signatures for drug repurposing.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(4):2241-2253 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Systemic treatment options for soft tissue sarcomas (STSs) have remained unchanged despite the need for novel drug candidates to improve STS outcomes. Drug repurposing involves the application of clinical drugs to different diseases, reducing development time, and cost. It has also become a fast and effective way to identify drug candidates. The present study used a computational method to screen three drug‑gene interaction databases for novel drug candidates for the treatment of several common STS histologic subtypes through drug repurposing. STS survival‑associated genes were generated by conducting a univariate cox regression analysis using The Cancer Genome Atlas survival data. These genes were then applied to three databases (the Connectivity Map, the Drug Gene Interaction Database and the L1000 Fireworks Display) to identify drug candidates for STS treatment. Additionally, pathway analysis and molecular docking were conducted to evaluate the molecular mechanisms of the candidate drug. Bepridil was identified as a potential candidate for several STS histologic subtype treatments by overlapping the screening results from three drug‑gene interaction databases. The pathway analysis with the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes predicted that Bepridil may target CRK, fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4), laminin subunit β1 (LAMB1), phosphoinositide‑3‑kinase regulatory subunit 2 (PIK3R2), WNT5A, cluster of differentiation 47 (CD47), elastase, neutrophil expressed (ELANE), 15‑hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (HPGD) and protein kinase cβ (PRKCB) to suppress STS development. Further molecular docking simulation suggested a relatively stable binding selectivity between Bepridil and eight proteins (CRK, FGFR4, LAMB1, PIK3R2, CD47, ELANE, HPGD, and PRKCB). In conclusion, a computational method was used to identify Bepridil as a potential candidate for the treatment of several common STS histologic subtypes. Experimental validation of these in silico results is necessary before clinical translation can occur.

Panagopoulou M, Karaglani M, Balgkouranidou I, et al.
Circulating cell-free DNA in breast cancer: size profiling, levels, and methylation patterns lead to prognostic and predictive classifiers.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(18):3387-3401 [PubMed] Related Publications
Blood circulating cell-free DNA (ccfDNA) is a suggested biosource of valuable clinical information for cancer, meeting the need for a minimally-invasive advancement in the route of precision medicine. In this paper, we evaluated the prognostic and predictive potential of ccfDNA parameters in early and advanced breast cancer. Groups consisted of 150 and 16 breast cancer patients under adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy respectively, 34 patients with metastatic disease and 35 healthy volunteers. Direct quantification of ccfDNA in plasma revealed elevated concentrations correlated to the incidence of death, shorter PFS, and non-response to pharmacotherapy in the metastatic but not in the other groups. The methylation status of a panel of cancer-related genes chosen based on previous expression and epigenetic data (KLK10, SOX17, WNT5A, MSH2, GATA3) was assessed by quantitative methylation-specific PCR. All but the GATA3 gene was more frequently methylated in all the patient groups than in healthy individuals (all p < 0.05). The methylation of WNT5A was statistically significantly correlated to greater tumor size and poor prognosis characteristics and in advanced stage disease with shorter OS. In the metastatic group, also SOX17 methylation was significantly correlated to the incidence of death, shorter PFS, and OS. KLK10 methylation was significantly correlated to unfavorable clinicopathological characteristics and relapse, whereas in the adjuvant group to shorter DFI. Methylation of at least 3 or 4 genes was significantly correlated to shorter OS and no pharmacotherapy response, respectively. Classification analysis by a fully automated, machine learning software produced a single-parametric linear model using ccfDNA plasma concentration values, with great discriminating power to predict response to chemotherapy (AUC 0.803, 95% CI [0.606, 1.000]) in the metastatic group. Two more multi-parametric signatures were produced for the metastatic group, predicting survival and disease outcome. Finally, a multiple logistic regression model was constructed, discriminating between patient groups and healthy individuals. Overall, ccfDNA emerged as a highly potent predictive classifier in metastatic breast cancer. Upon prospective clinical evaluation, all the signatures produced could aid accurate prognosis.

Karvonen H, Perttilä R, Niininen W, et al.
Wnt5a and ROR1 activate non-canonical Wnt signaling via RhoA in TCF3-PBX1 acute lymphoblastic leukemia and highlight new treatment strategies via Bcl-2 co-targeting.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(17):3288-3300 [PubMed] Related Publications
B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) with TCF3-PBX1 fusion gene expression has constitutively elevated levels of Wnt16b and ROR1 (receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor), a ligand and a receptor from the Wnt signaling pathway, respectively. Although survival rate is usually high after the initial chemotherapy, many TCF3-PBX1 BCP-ALL patients relapse and subsequently develop treatment resistance, resulting in poor prognosis. Here, we aimed to investigate the molecular signaling associated with Wnt16b and ROR1 overexpression in TCF3-PBX1 cell lines and primary samples, and to identify effective treatment options via ROR1 targeting. We detected higher ROR1 expression on TCF3-PBX1 leukemic cells even at a later stage of patient relapse, providing a strong rationale for the use of ROR1-targeted therapy. We found that Wnt5a-ROR1 signaling enhances proliferation of TCF3-PBX1 cells via RhoA/Rac1 GTPases activation and STAT3 upregulation. Wnt16b also activated the RhoA/Rac1 signaling cascade suggesting the activation of a non-canonical Wnt pathway in TCF3-PBX1 cells. Wnt16 could interact with ROR1 but not in TCF3-PBX1 cells, suggesting that Wnt5a is the ligand signaling via ROR1 in TCF3-PBX1 cells. By high throughput drug-sensitivity testing of TCF3-PBX1 cells before and after ROR1 knockdown we found that targeting ROR1 significantly improves the therapeutic efficacy of Bcl-2 family inhibitors venetoclax and navitoclax, and this synergism was confirmed ex vivo using a drug-resistant primary sample from a relapsed TCF3-PBX1 patient. Our work underlines a new type of targeted combination therapy that could be clinically advantageous for patients with TCF3-PBX1 BCP-ALL.

Zheng M, Zhou Q, Liu X, et al.
CTHRC1 overexpression promotes cervical carcinoma progression by activating the Wnt/PCP signaling pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(3):1531-1538 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The tumorigenesis and metastasis of tumors are associated with human collagen triple helix repeats containing 1 (CTHRC1). To study the effects and possible impacting mechanisms of CTHRC1 on human cervical carcinoma development, samples of paraffin‑embedded cervical carcinoma and HeLa cells were examined. Immunofluorescence, cell wound scratch assay, western blot analysis and Transwell invasion assay were used to evaluate HeLa cells in response to silencing of the CTHRC1 gene in cervical carcinoma. The expression levels of gap‑associated proteins of the Wnt/PCP pathway in paraffin‑embedded cervical carcinoma samples were also evaluated by immunohistochemical staining. CTHRC1 promoted the migration and invasion of HeLa cells in vitro, downregulated Ror2 and p‑c‑Jun and activated the Wnt/PCP pathway. Furthermore, the expression of p‑c‑Jun, Ror2 and Wnt5a was increased after overexpression of CTHRC1 as revealed in HeLa cells compared to control group. The present experiments revealed that CTHRC1 promoted HeLa cell progression by activating the Wnt/PCP signaling pathway and may play a key role in the invasion and metastasis of cervical carcinoma.

Cao J, Wang Q, Wu G, et al.
miR-129-5p inhibits gemcitabine resistance and promotes cell apoptosis of bladder cancer cells by targeting Wnt5a.
Int Urol Nephrol. 2018; 50(10):1811-1819 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Gemcitabine resistance is a major obstacle for effective treatment of bladder cancer. This study was aimed to investigate the potential role of miR-129-5p in the development of gemcitabine resistance in bladder cancer cells and its underlying mechanism.
METHODS: The IC50 for gemcitabine in 20 bladder cancer cells was first profiled from Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer. miR-129-5p level and gene mRNA expression were detected using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Cell viability, apoptosis, and gene protein level were assessed by MTT, flow cytometry, and Western blot, respectively. Regulatory relationship between Wnt5a and miR-129-5p was determined using luciferase reporter assay.
RESULTS: We found that down-regulated miR-129-5p level contributed to gemcitabine resistance in bladder cancer cells and tissues. We also observed restoration of miR-129-5p could significantly increase cell sensitivity to gemcitabine and promote cell apoptosis. Mechanism analysis revealed that Wnt5a is a direct target gene of miR-129-5p and knock-down of Wnt5a reversed gemcitabine resistance.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our findings indicate that miR-129-5p and Wnt5a may be novel therapeutic targets for overcoming gemcitabine resistance in bladder cancer treatment.

Peng KY, Chang HM, Lin YF, et al.
miRNA-203 Modulates Aldosterone Levels and Cell Proliferation by Targeting Wnt5a in Aldosterone-Producing Adenomas.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018; 103(10):3737-3747 [PubMed] Related Publications
Context: The aberrant expression or alternation of miRNA in the pathogenesis of aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) is still largely unknown.
Objective: We investigated the role of miRNA-203 (screened from miRNA microarrays) and elucidated its effects on the Wnt/β-catenin pathway regarding aldosterone production and cell proliferation in APAs.
Methods: miR-203 expression was upregulated or downregulated by transfecting miR-203 mimics or inhibitors into primary APA cells, the human adrenocortical cell line HAC15, and C57BL/6 mice. In vitro and biochemical data were correlated with the respective clinical parameters of APAs to evaluate their clinical importance.
Results: The expression of miR-203 in human APA samples was significantly lower than that of peritumor adrenal samples. Tumoral miR-203 abundance correlated negatively with both plasma aldosterone level and tumor size in patients with APAs. miR-203 inhibitors increased aldosterone production and cell proliferation in HAC15 cells, and restoration of expression via miR-203 mimics showed decreased cell proliferation and aldosterone hypersecretion in APA cell cultures. In vivo selective inhibition of miR-203 via intra-adrenal injection of miR-203 inhibitors in mice led to a substantial increase in systolic blood pressure and plasma aldosterone levels. Additionally, the dual-luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that WNT5A is a direct target of miR-203. Furthermore, plasma Wnt5a levels in adrenal vein sampling were helpful in differentiating tumor localization, and preoperative plasma Wnt5a levels predicted the cure of hypertension after adrenalectomy.
Conclusion: We have demonstrated that attenuated miR-203 expression in APAs increases aldosterone production and the tumorigenesis of adrenal cells by activating the Wnt5a/β-catenin pathway.

Jin P, Song Y, Yu G
The Role of Abnormal Methylation of Wnt5a Gene Promoter Regions in Human Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: A Clinical and Experimental Study.
Anal Cell Pathol (Amst). 2018; 2018:6567081 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Objective: In the current study, the role of abnormal methylation of Wnt5a gene promoter regions in human epithelial ovarian cancer was investigated.
Methods: Wnt5a expressions were examined by immunohistochemistry in epithelial ovarian tissues (30 normal and 79 human EOC tissues). SKOV3 cells were treated with different concentrations of 5-Aza-CdR (0.5, 5, and 50 
Results: (1) Compared with normal tissues, Wnt5a expressions were reduced or lost in EOC (
Conclusions: Wnt5a gene region promoter aberrant methylation existed in epithelial ovarian cancer, and abnormal methylation of Wnt5a gene promoter regions may be a new target for the treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer.

Chen X, Jia C, Jia C, et al.
MicroRNA-374a Inhibits Aggressive Tumor Biological Behavior in Bladder Carcinoma by Suppressing Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 48(2):815-826 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: microRNA (miR)-374a plays a crucial role in cancer progression by promoting the metastasis and proliferation of various types of malignant tumors. Because its role in bladder cancer is unknown, we investigated whether miR-374a affects the progression of bladder cancer and studied the underlying mechanism.
METHODS: The Cancer Genome Atlas was used to analyze the clinical relevance of miR-374a. Quantitative PCR, western blotting, and luciferase and immunofluorescence assays were used to detect the expression patterns, downstream targets, and function of miR-374a in bladder cancer cells. Apoptosis was evaluated by flow cytometry after cisplatin treatment.
RESULTS: Via in silico analysis, low levels of miR-374a were associated with poor prognosis in bladder cancer patients with distant metastasis. WNT5A was a direct target of miR-374a in two bladder cancer cell lines. miR-374a mimic abrogated the metastatic potential and invasiveness of bladder cancer cells via WNT5A downregulation in both T24 and TCCSUP human bladder cancer cells; the opposite was observed with miR-374a inhibitor. In addition, miR-374a treatment reduced the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of β-catenin. Cisplatin treatment significantly increased the apoptosis rate. Expression levels of cancer stemness-related proteins were reduced in miR-374a mimic-pretreated cells.
CONCLUSION: Lower expression of miR-374a is associated with poor prognosis and miR-374a improves tumor biological behavior in bladder cancer cells, suggesting that miR-374a might be a novel small-molecule therapeutic target.

Kim SH, Park KH, Shin SJ, et al.
CpG Island Methylator Phenotype and Methylation of Wnt Pathway Genes Together Predict Survival in Patients with Colorectal Cancer.
Yonsei Med J. 2018; 59(5):588-594 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Dysregulation of the Wnt pathway is a crucial step in the tumorigenesis of colorectal cancer (CRC). This study aimed to determine whether DNA methylation of Wnt pathway genes helps predict treatment response and survival in patients with metastatic or recurrent CRC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively collected primary tumor tissues from 194 patients with metastatic or recurrent CRC. Pyrosequencing was used to examine the methylation of 10 CpG island loci in DNA extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens. To elucidate the predictive role of DNA methylation markers, Kaplan-Meier survival estimation and Cox regression were performed for progression-free survival and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS: The methylation frequencies of the 10 genes analyzed (p16, p14, MINT1, MINT2, MINT31, hMLH1, DKK3, WNT5A, AXIN2, and TFAP2E) were 47.9%, 10.8%, 21.1%, 16.0%, 20.6%, 0.5%, 53.1%, 32.0%, 2.6%, and 2.1%, respectively. We divided patients into three groups based on the number of methylated genes (group 1, no methylation n=38; group 2, 1-2 methylations n=92; group 3, 3 or more methylations n=64). Among patients treated with palliative chemotherapy (n=167), median OSs of groups 1, 2, and 3 were 39.1, 39.7, and 29.1 months, respectively (log rank p=0.013). After adjustment, number of methylations was identified as an independent poor prognostic factor (0-2 methylated vs. ≥3 methylated: hazard ratio, 1.72; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-2.56, p=0.007).
CONCLUSION: This study suggests that methylation of Wnt pathway genes, in addition to known CpG island methylator phenotype markers, may help predict treatment outcome and survival in patients with CRC.

Chen GY, Zheng HC
The clinicopathological and prognostic significances of Dkk3 expression in cancers: A bioinformatics analysis.
Cancer Biomark. 2018; 23(3):323-331 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Dkk3 protein attenuates the expression of Wnt3a, Wnt5a and LRP6, and their interaction, and interacts with βTrCP to suppress wnt/β-catenin pathway.
METHODS: We performed a bioinformatics analysis of Dkk3 mRNA expression through Oncomine, TCGA and Kaplan-Meier plotter databases up to July 10, 2017.
RESULTS: Up-regulated Dkk3 expression was higher in gastric, breast, and ovarian cancers than normal tissues (p< 0.05). Bitter's database showed a higher Dkk3 expression in ovarian cytoadenocarcinoma than clear cell adenocarcinoma (p< 0.05). Dkk3 was more expressed in ductal breast cancer in situ than invasive ductal breast cancer (p< 0.05), in mixed lobular and ductal cancer, and lobular cancer than ductal breast cancer (p< 0.05). In TCGA data, Dkk3 expression was lower in gastric cancers with than without Barret's esophagus (p< 0.05), in intestinal-type than diffuse-type cancers (p< 0.05), and in the cancers of elder than younger patients (p< 0.05). Dkk3 expression was higher in squamous cell carcinoma than adenocarcinoma (p< 0.05). Dkk3 expression was higher in ductal than lobular breast cancer, or in younger than elder patients with breast cancer (p< 0.05). According to Kaplan-Meier plotter, Dkk3 expression was negatively correlated with overall, progression-free, relapse-free or distant-metastasis-free survival rate of gastric, breast or ovarian cancer patients, but versa for lung cancer patients (p< 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Dkk3 expression might be employed as a potential marker to indicate carcinogenesis and histogenesis, even prognosis.

Cao J, Wang X, Dai T, et al.
Twist promotes tumor metastasis in basal-like breast cancer by transcriptionally upregulating ROR1.
Theranostics. 2018; 8(10):2739-2751 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Li Z, Luo J
Research on epigenetic mechanism of SFRP2 in advanced chronic myeloid leukemia.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 501(1):64-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2) has been reported to act as a tumor suppressors. This study aims to detect the biological role of SFRP2 in advanced chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). In this study we examined bone marrow samples from 45 CML patients and 10 healthy donors. K562 and KCL22 cells were cultured and treated with demethylation drug and histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi). KCL22 and K562 cells were transfected with lentiviral vector (LV)-SFRP2, LV-control. The cells were then subjected to proliferation and apoptosis assays, real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Methylation-specific PCR (MSP), Western blotting, co-immunoprecipitation (CoIP) and Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), We found that SFRP2 was down-regulated in the accelerated and blast phase of CML, whereas, the levels of WNT1, WNT3 and WNT5A were up-regulated in the accelerated and blast phase of CML. Overexpression SFRP2 inhibited proliferation, promoted apoptosis and activated the WNT pathway. CoIP-MS results showed that SFRP2 interacted with WNT1 and WNT5A. ChIP-seq result indicated that the promoter of H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 were able to interact with SFRP2. In conclusion, our findings demonstrated the SFRP2 act as a potential therapeutic target for advanced CML. Furthermore, our results support the use of demethylation drugs and HDACi as a potential CML treatment strategy.

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

Chen Z, Gao Y, Yao L, et al.
LncFZD6 initiates Wnt/β-catenin and liver TIC self-renewal through BRG1-mediated FZD6 transcriptional activation.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(23):3098-3112 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Liver tumor-initiating cells (TICs), the drivers for liver tumorigenesis, accounts for liver tumor initiation, metastasis, drug resistance and relapse. Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway emerges as a critical modulator in liver TIC self-renewal. However, the molecular mechanism of Wnt/β-catenin initiation in liver tumorigenesis and liver TICs is still elusive. Here, we examined the expression pattern of 10 Wnt receptors (FZD1-FZD10), and found only FZD6 is overexpressed along with liver tumorigenesis. What's more, a divergent lncRNA of FZD6, termed lncFZD6, is also highly expressed in liver cancer and liver TICs. LncFZD6 drives liver TIC self-renewal and tumor initiation capacity through FZD6-dependent manner. LncFZD6 interacts with BRG1-embedded SWI/SNF complex and recruits it to FZD6 promoter, and thus drives the transcriptional initiation of FZD6 by chromatin remodeling. WNT5A, a ligand of FZD6, is highly expressed in liver non-TICs and drives the self-renewal of liver TICs through lncFZD6-BRG1-FZD6-dependent manner. Through FZD6 transcriptional regulation in cis, lncFZD6 activates Wnt/β-catenin signaling in liver TICs. LncFZD6-BRG1-Wnt5A/β-catenin pathway can serve as a target for liver TIC elimination. Altogether, lncFZD6 promotes Wnt/β-catenin activation and liver TIC self-renewal through BRG1-dependent FZD6 expression.

Qi C, Chen Y, Zhou Y, et al.
Delineating the underlying molecular mechanisms and key genes involved in metastasis of colorectal cancer via bioinformatics analysis.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(5):2297-2305 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is considered the world's fourth most deadly cancer. Its metastasis is associated with poor prognosis and weakens the effects of treatment. However, the potential molecular mechanisms and key genes involved in CRC metastasis have remained to be comprehensively elucidated. The objective of the present study was to identify the key genes and molecular pathways underlying CRC metastasis. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between primary CRC tissues and metastatic CRC were identified by analyzing the GSE2509 dataset from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Subsequently, the DEGs were subjected to Gene Ontology (GO) term and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genome (KEGG) pathway enrichment analyses via the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID). Next, the top ten hub genes were identified in a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network. Sub-network and pathway enrichment analysis were respectively performed with the plugin MCODE and DAVID. Finally, reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays were performed to corroborate the expression levels of the top five potential metastasis-associated genes in the clinical samples of CRC patients. A total of 7,384 DEGs were obtained, among which 3,949 were upregulated and 3,435 were downregulated. GO and KEGG enrichment analyses identified numerous possible biological processes and pathways that may have a role in the metastasis of CRC. The leading ten hub genes, recognized from the PPI, were epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), Has proto-oncogene GTPase (HRas), Wnt family member 5A (Wnt5a), serine/threonine kinase 1 (Akt1), cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (CDKN1a), early growth response 1, Ras homolog family member A, cyclin D1 and Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1. Sub-network analysis disclosed the most prominent three modules. Ultimately, EGFR, HRas and Akt1 were verified to be upregulated DEGs, while Wnt5a and CDKN1a were downregulated DEGs when compared with the primary controls. In conclusion, the present study revealed several key genes and relevant molecular mechanisms that may enhance the current understanding of CRC metastasis, making them significant potential foci for the discovery of further CRC treatments.

Singhal U, Wang Y, Henderson J, et al.
Multigene Profiling of CTCs in mCRPC Identifies a Clinically Relevant Prognostic Signature.
Mol Cancer Res. 2018; 16(4):643-654 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The trend toward precision-based therapeutic approaches dictated by molecular alterations offers substantial promise for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). However, current approaches for molecular characterization are primarily tissue based, necessitating serial biopsies to understand changes over time and are limited by the challenges inherent to extracting genomic material from predominantly bone metastases. Therefore, a circulating tumor cell (CTC)-based assay was developed to determine gene expression across a panel of clinically relevant and potentially actionable prostate cancer-related genes. CTCs were isolated from the whole blood of mCRPC patients (

Wang J, Wang X, Liu F, Fu Y
microRNA-335 inhibits colorectal cancer HCT116 cells growth and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process by targeting Twist1.
Pharmazie. 2017; 72(8):475-481 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers. Recently, several microRNAs (miRNAs) have been characterized as oncogenes or tumor suppressors in colorectal cancer. This study was aimed to explore the tumor suppressive effects and its underling mechanism of miR-335 on colorectal cancer cells. Human colorectal cancer HCT116 cells were employed and the expression of miR-335 in cells was altered by transfection with miR-335 mimic and miR-335 inhibitor. Thereafter, CCK-8 assay, flow cytometry, Transwell assay and Western blotting were used to detect cell viability, apoptosis, migration, invasion, and the expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related proteins. Dual luciferase activity assay was performed to test whether Twist1 was a direct target of miR-335. Moreover, cells were co-transfected with miR-335 inhibitor and Twist1 siRNA, and then cell growth and metastasis were re-evaluated. miR-335 overexpression inhibited cell viability, migration and invasion, and promoted apoptotic cells rate. miR-335 overexpression up-regulated E-Cadherin, while down-regulated N-Cadherin, Vimentin and Snail. Twist1 was a direct target of miR-335, and Twist1 silence promoted apoptosis, and abolished miR-335 suppression induced increases in cell viability, migration, invasion, and abnormal expressions of EMT-related proteins. Besides, Twist1 silence abolished miR-335 suppression induced activations of p65 and IκBα, and miR-335 suppression induced up-regulations of Wnt3a, Wnt5a and β-Catenin. miR-335 inhibited HCT116 cells growth, migration, invasion, and ETM process. miR-335 exhibited tumor suppressive effects possibly by inhibition of Twsit1 and thus inactivating NF-κB and Wnt/β-catenin pathways.

Rauf F, Festa F, Park JG, et al.
Ibrutinib inhibition of ERBB4 reduces cell growth in a WNT5A-dependent manner.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(17):2237-2250 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Alterations in ERBB family members have been associated with many tumor malignancies. EGFR and ERBB2 have been extensively explored in clinical oncology and several drugs currently target them therapeutically. However, the significance of ERBB4 as a potential therapeutic target remains mostly unexplored, even though ERBB4 is overexpressed or mutated in many solid tumors. Using a unique functional protein microarray platform, we found that ibrutinib inhibits ERBB4 activity in the same nM range as its canonical target, BTK. Cell-based assays revealed that ibrutinib treatment inhibited cell growth and decreased phosphorylation of ERBB4 and downstream targets MEK and ERK in cancer cell lines with high levels of endogenous ERBB4. In vivo, ibrutinib-responsive mouse xenograft tumors showed decreased tumor volumes with ibrutinib treatment. Interestingly, global gene expression comparisons between responsive and non-responsive cells identified a signature featuring the WNT pathway that predicts growth responsiveness to ibrutinib. Non-responsive ERBB4-expressing cell lines featured elevated activity of the WNT pathway, through the overexpression of WNT5A. Moreover, inhibition of WNT5A expression led to an ibrutinib response in non-responsive cell lines. Our data show that inhibiting ERBB4 reduces cell growth in cells that have low WNT5A expression and reveal a link between the ERBB4 and WNT pathways.

Lee GT, Kwon SJ, Kim J, et al.
WNT5A induces castration-resistant prostate cancer via CCL2 and tumour-infiltrating macrophages.
Br J Cancer. 2018; 118(5):670-678 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although the standard treatment for the patients with recurrent and metastatic prostate cancer (CaP) is androgen deprivation therapy, castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) eventually emerges. Our previous report indicated that bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP6) induced CRPC via tumour-infiltrating macrophages. In a separate line of study, we have observed that the WNT5A/BMP6 loop in CaP bone metastasis mediates resistance to androgen deprivation in tissue culture. Simultaneously, we have reported that BMP6 induced castration resistance in CaP cells via tumour-infiltrating macrophages. Therefore, our present study aims to investigate the mechanism of WNT5A and its interaction with macrophages on CRPC.
METHODS: Doxycycline inducible WNT5A overexpression prostate cancer cell line was used for detailed mechanical study.
RESULTS: WNT5A was associated with increased expression of chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) in the human CaP cell line, LNCaP. Mechanistically, this induction of CCL2 by WNT5A is likely to be mediated via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signalling pathway. Our in vivo experiments demonstrated that the overexpression of WNT5A in LNCaP cells promoted castration resistance. Conversely, this resistance was inhibited with the removal of macrophages via clodronate liposomes. When patient-derived CaP LuCaP xenografts were analysed, high levels of WNT5A were correlated with increased levels of CCL2 and BMP6. In addition, higher levels of CCL2 and BMP6 were more commonly observed in intra-femoral transplanted tumours as compared to subcutaneous-transplanted tumours in the patient-derived PCSD1 bone-niche model.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings collectively suggest that WNT5A may be a key gene that induces CRPC in the bone niche by recruiting and regulating macrophages through CCL2 and BMP6, respectively.

Chen Y, Shang H, Zhang S, Zhang X
Ginsenoside Rh2 inhibits proliferation and migration of medulloblastoma Daoy by down-regulation of microRNA-31.
J Cell Biochem. 2018; 119(8):6527-6534 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aimed to investigate the effects of ginsenoside Rh2 on proliferation, apoptosis, and migration of the human medulloblastoma cell line Daoy, as well as to explore the potential mechanisms of the effects. The human medulloblastoma cell line Daoy was cultured in vitro and treated with or without ginsenoside Rh2. CCK-8 assay was performed to investigate the effect of Rh2 on cell survival using a cell counting Kit-8. Cell proliferation was assessed by BrdU assay. Cell apoptosis was determined using flow cytometry analysis. Cell migration was detected using a modified two-chamber migration assay. MiR-31 mimic and the NC control were transfected into Daoy cells and detected by qRT-PCR. The expression of Wnt3a, Wnt5a, and β-catein was detected by Western blot analysis. Rh2 efficiently suppressed the proliferation and migration, and promoted the apoptosis of Daoy cells. Additionally, Rh2 could down-regulate miR-31. miR-31 overexpression reversed the effects of Rh2 on proliferation, apoptosis and migration of Daoy cells, and activated the Wnt/β-catein signaling pathways in Daoy cells. Rh2 could inhibit the proliferation and migration, and induce apoptosis of Daoy medulloblastoma cells through down-regulation of miR-31 to inactivate the Wnt/β-catein signaling pathway. Therefore, Rh2 may have a utility in clinical applications for the treatment of medulloblastoma.

Han B, Zhou B, Qu Y, et al.
FOXC1-induced non-canonical WNT5A-MMP7 signaling regulates invasiveness in triple-negative breast cancer.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(10):1399-1408 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has high rates of local recurrence and distant metastasis, partially due to its high invasiveness. The Forkhead box C1 (FOXC1) transcription factor has been shown to be specifically overexpressed in TNBC and associated with poor clinical outcome. How TNBC's high invasiveness is driven by FOXC1 and its downstream targets remains poorly understood. In the present study, pathway-specific PCR array assays revealed that WNT5A and matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP7) were upregulated by FOXC1 in TNBC cells. Interestingly, WNT5A mediates the upregulation of MMP7 by FOXC1 and the WNT5A-MMP7 axis is essential for FOXC1-induced invasiveness of TNBC cells in vitro. Xenograft models showed that the lung extravasation and metastasis of FOXC1-overexpressing TNBC cells were attenuated by knocking out WNT5A, but could be restored by MMP7 overexpression. Mechanistically, FOXC1 can bind directly to the WNT5A promoter region to activate its expression. Engineered DNA-binding molecule-mediated chromatin immunoprecipitation (enChIP), coupled with mass spectrometry, identified FOXC1-interacting proteins including a group of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins involved in WNT5A transcription induction. Finally, we found that WNT5A activates NF-κB signaling to induce MMP7 expression. Collectively, these data demonstrate a FOXC1-elicited non-canonical WNT5A signaling mechanism comprising NF-κB and MMP7 that is essential for TNBC cell invasiveness, thereby providing implications toward developing an effective therapy for TNBC.

Liu G, Yan T, Li X, et al.
Daam1 activates RhoA to regulate Wnt5a‑induced glioblastoma cell invasion.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(2):465-472 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The signaling pathway of dishevelled-associated activator of morphogenesis 1 (Daam1) triggered by Wnt5a drives cell movement and migration during breast cancer metastasis. However, Wnt5a signaling in glioblastoma progression remains poorly defined. Wnt5a expression and activations of RhoA, Cdc42, and Rac1 were detected in human glioblastoma tissues by using ELISA assays and small G-protein activation assays, respectively. The cell invasion rate and Daam1 activation of glioblastoma U251 and T98MG cells were determined by cell invasion assays and pull-down assays, respectively. According to our experiments, Wnt5a expression and RhoA activation were upregulated in invasive glioblastoma tissues, with a significant positive correlation between them. Wnt5a activated Daam1 and RhoA, and subsequently promoted the invasion of glioblastoma U251 and T98MG cells. This process was abolished by secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (sFRP2), an antagonist that directly binds to Wnt5a. Specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting Daam1 markedly inhibited Wnt5a-induced RhoA activation, stress fiber formation and glioblastoma cell invasion. CCG-1423, a RhoA inhibitor, decreased Wnt5a-induced stress fiber formation and glioblastoma cell invasion. Finally, siRNA targeting Daam1 or CCG-1423 treatment did not alter the cell proliferation of glioblastoma U251 and T98MG cells. We thus concluded that Wnt5a promoted glioblastoma cell invasion via Daam1/RhoA signaling pathway.

Fan D, Lin X, Zhang F, et al.
MicroRNA 26b promotes colorectal cancer metastasis by downregulating phosphatase and tensin homolog and wingless-type MMTV integration site family member 5A.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(2):354-362 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Invasion and metastasis are crucially important factors in the survival of malignant tumors. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an early step in metastatic progression and the presence of cancer stem cells is closely related to tumor survival, proliferation, metastasis, and recurrence. Herein we report that ectopic overexpression of microRNA 26b (miR-26b) in colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines promoted EMT and stem cell-like phenotypes in vitro. Furthermore, miR-26b directly targeted and suppressed multiple tumor suppressors, including phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and wingless-type MMTV integration site family member 5A (WNT5A). Notably, miR-26b is markedly upregulated in tumor samples from patients with lymphatic metastases. These results indicate that miR-26b promotes CRC metastasis by downregulating PTEN and WNT5A, and may represent a therapeutic target for metastatic CRC.

Carbone C, Piro G, Gaianigo N, et al.
Adipocytes sustain pancreatic cancer progression through a non-canonical WNT paracrine network inducing ROR2 nuclear shuttling.
Int J Obes (Lond). 2018; 42(3):334-343 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Solid epidemiological evidences connect obesity with incidence, stage and survival in pancreatic cancer. However, the underlying mechanistic basis linking adipocytes to pancreatic cancer progression remain largely elusive. We hypothesized that factors secreted by adipocytes could be responsible for epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) induction and, in turn, a more aggressive phenotype in models of pancreatic preneoplastic lesions.
METHODS: We studied the role of factors secreted by two adipogenic model systems from primary human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) in an in vitro experimental cell transformation model system of human pancreatic ductal epithelial (HPDE) cell stably expressing activated KRAS (HPDE/KRAS),Results:We measured a significant induction of EMT and aggressiveness in HPDE and HPDE/KRAS cell lines when cultured with medium conditioned by fully differentiated adipocytes (ADIPO
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that adipocytes could induce EMT and aggressiveness in models of pancreatic preneoplastic lesions by orchestrating a complex paracrine signaling of soluble modulators of the non-canonical WNT signaling pathway that determine, in turn, the activation and nuclear translocation of ROR2. This signaling pathway could represent a novel target for pancreatic cancer chemoprevention. Most importantly, these factors could serve as novel biomarkers to select a risk population among obese subjects for screening and, thus, early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Toraih EA, Aly NM, Abdallah HY, et al.
MicroRNA-target cross-talks: Key players in glioblastoma multiforme.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(11):1010428317726842 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of microRNAs in brain cancer is still naive. Some act as oncogene and others as tumor suppressors. Discovery of efficient biomarkers is mandatory to debate that aggressive disease. Bioinformatically selected microRNAs and their targets were investigated to evaluate their putative signature as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in primary glioblastoma multiforme. Expression of a panel of seven microRNAs (hsa-miR-34a, hsa-miR-16, hsa-miR-17, hsa-miR-21, hsa-miR-221, hsa-miR-326, and hsa-miR-375) and seven target genes ( E2F3, PI3KCA, TOM34, WNT5A, PDCD4, DFFA, and EGFR) in 43 glioblastoma multiforme specimens were profiled compared to non-cancer tissues via quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Immunohistochemistry staining for three proteins (VEGFA, BAX, and BCL2) was performed. Gene enrichment analysis identified the biological regulatory functions of the gene panel in glioma pathway. MGMT ( O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase) promoter methylation was analyzed for molecular subtyping of tumor specimens. Our data demonstrated a significant upregulation of five microRNAs (hsa-miR-16, hsa-miR-17, hsa-miR-21, hsa-miR-221, and hsa-miR-375), three genes ( E2F3, PI3KCA, and Wnt5a), two proteins (VEGFA and BCL2), and downregulation of hsa-miR-34a and three other genes ( DFFA, PDCD4, and EGFR) in brain cancer tissues. Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that miR-34a (area under the curve = 0.927) and miR-17 (area under the curve = 0.900) had the highest diagnostic performance, followed by miR-221 (area under the curve = 0.845), miR-21 (area under the curve = 0.836), WNT5A (area under the curve = 0.809), PDCD4 (area under the curve = 0.809), and PI3KCA (area under the curve = 0.800). MGMT promoter methylation status was associated with high miR-221 levels. Moreover, patients with VEGFA overexpression and downregulation of TOM34 and BAX had poor overall survival. Nevertheless, miR-17, miR-221, and miR-326 downregulation were significantly associated with high recurrence rate. Multivariate analysis by hierarchical clustering classified patients into four distinct groups based on gene panel signature. In conclusion, the explored microRNA-target dysregulation could pave the road toward developing potential therapeutic strategies for glioblastoma multiforme. Future translational and functional studies are highly recommended to better understand the complex bio-molecular signature of this difficult-to-treat tumor.

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