Diverse chemical scaffolds support direct inhibition of the membrane-bound O-acyltransferase porcupine.
ABSTRACT Secreted Wnt proteins constitute one of the largest families of intercellular signaling molecules in vertebrates with essential roles in embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis. The functional redundancy of Wnt genes and the many forms of cellular responses they elicit, including some utilizing the transcriptional co-activator β-catenin, has limited the ability of classical genetic strategies to uncover their roles in vivo. We had previously identified a chemical compound class termed Inhibitor of Wnt Production (or IWP) that targets Porcupine (Porcn), an acyltransferase catalyzing the addition of fatty acid adducts onto Wnt proteins. Here we demonstrate that diverse chemical structures are able to inhibit Porcn by targeting its putative active site. When deployed in concert with small molecules that modulate the activity of Tankyrase enzymes and glycogen synthase kinase 3 β (GSK3β), additional transducers of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, the IWP compounds reveal an essential role for Wnt protein fatty acylation in eliciting β-catenin-dependent and -independent forms of Wnt signaling during zebrafish development. This collection of small molecules facilitates rapid dissection of Wnt gene function in vivo by limiting the influence of redundant Wnt gene functions on phenotypic outcomes and enables temporal manipulation of Wnt-mediated signaling in vertebrates.
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ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, encompassing a large number of entities showing different morphological features and having clinical behaviors. It has became apparent that this diversity may be justified by distinct patterns of genetic, epigenetic, and transcriptomic aberrations. The identification of gene-expression microarray-based characteristics has led to the identification of at least five breast cancer subgroups: luminal A, luminal B, normal breast-like, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, and basal-like. Triple-negative breast cancer is a complex disease diagnosed by immunohistochemistry, and it is characterized by malignant cells not expressing estrogen receptors or progesterone receptors at all, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. Along with this knowledge, recent data show that triple-negative breast cancer has specific molecular features that could be possible targets for new biological targeted drugs. The aim of this article is to explore the use of new drugs in this particular setting, which is still associated with poor prognosis and high risk of distant recurrence and death.OncoTargets and Therapy 01/2015; 8:177–193. DOI:10.2147/OTT.S67673 · 1.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The post-translational palmitoylation of WNT morphogens is critical for proper signaling during embryogenesis and adult homeostasis. The addition of palmitoyl groups to WNT proteins is catalyzed by Porcupine (PORCN). However, the Wnt amino acid residues required for recognition and palmitoylation by PORCN have not been fully characterized. We show that WNT1 residues 214-234 are sufficient for PORCN-dependent palmitoylation of Ser224. Substitution of Ser224 with Thr, but not Cys, is tolerated in palmitoylation and biological assays. Our data highlight the importance of palmitoylation for WNT1 activity and establish PORCN as an O-acyl transferase for WNT1. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.FEBS Letters 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.febslet.2014.11.016 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Constitutive activation of canonical WNT-TCF signaling is implicated in multiple diseases, including intestine and lung cancers, but there are no WNT-TCF antagonists in clinical use. We have performed a repositioning screen for WNT-TCF response blockers aiming to recapitulate the genetic blockade afforded by dominant-negative TCF. We report that Ivermectin inhibits the expression of WNT-TCF targets, mimicking dnTCF, and that its low concentration effects are rescued by direct activation by TCFVP16. Ivermectin inhibits the proliferation and increases apoptosis of various human cancer types. It represses the levels of C-terminal β-CATENIN phosphoforms and of CYCLIN D1 in an okadaic acid-sensitive manner, indicating its action involves protein phosphatases. In vivo, Ivermectin selectively inhibits TCF-dependent, but not TCF-independent, xenograft growth without obvious side effects. Analysis of single semi-synthetic derivatives highlights Selamectin, urging its clinical testing and the exploration of the macrocyclic lactone chemical space. Given that Ivermectin is a safe anti-parasitic agent used by > 200 million people against river blindness, our results suggest its additional use as a therapeutic WNT-TCF pathway response blocker to treat WNT-TCF-dependent diseases including multiple cancers.EMBO Molecular Medicine 08/2014; 6(10). DOI:10.15252/emmm.201404084 · 8.25 Impact Factor