Author(s): Winn RA, Marek L, Han SY, Rodriguez K, Rodriguez N,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The Wnt signaling pathway is critical in normal development, and mutation of specific components is frequently observed in carcinomas of diverse origins. However, the potential involvement of this pathway in lung tumorigenesis has not been established. In this study, analysis of multiple Wnt mRNAs in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines and primary lung tumors revealed markedly decreased Wnt-7a expression compared with normal short-term bronchial epithelial cell lines and normal uninvolved lung tissue. Wnt-7a transfection in NSCLC cell lines reversed cellular transformation, decreased anchorage-independent growth, and induced epithelial differentiation as demonstrated by soft agar and three-dimensional cell culture assays in a subset of the NSCLC cell lines. The action of Wnt-7a correlated with expression of the specific Wnt receptor Frizzled-9 (Fzd-9), and transfection of Fzd-9 into a Wnt-7a-insensitive NSCLC cell line established Wnt-7a sensitivity. Moreover, Wnt-7a was present in Fzd-9 immunoprecipitates, indicating a direct interaction of Wnt-7a and Fzd-9. In NSCLC cells, Wnt-7a and Fzd-9 induced both cadherin and Sprouty-4 expression and stimulated the JNK pathway, but not beta-catenin/T cell factor activity. In addition, transfection of gain-of-function JNK strongly inhibited anchorage-independent growth. Thus, this study demonstrates that Wnt-7a and Fzd-9 signaling through activation of the JNK pathway induces cadherin proteins and the receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor Sprouty-4 and represents a novel tumor suppressor pathway in lung cancer that is required for maintenance of epithelial differentiation and inhibition of transformed cell growth in a subset of human NSCLCs.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy