Article

Inhibition ofWnt-2 and galectin-3 synergistically destabilizes β-catenin and induces apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells

Thoracic Oncology Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.
International Journal of Cancer (Impact Factor: 5.01). 09/2007; 121(6):1175-81. DOI: 10.1002/ijc.22848
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Constitutive activation of the Wnt pathway as a result of APC, AXIN1 or CTNNB1 mutations has been found in most colorectal cancers. For a long time, this aberrant Wnt activation has been thought to be independent of upstream signals. However, recent studies indicate that upstream signals retain their ability to regulate the Wnt pathway even in the presence of downstream mutations. Wnt-2 is well known for its overexpression in colorectal cancer. Galectin-3 (Gal-3), a multifunctional carbohydrate binding protein implicated in a variety of biological functions, has recently been reported to interact with beta-catenin. In this study, we investigated roles of Wnt-2 and Gal-3 in the regulation of canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. We found that siRNA silencing of either Wnt-2 or Gal-3 expression inhibited TCF-reporter activity, decreased cytosolic beta-catenin level and induced apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells containing downstream mutations. More interestingly, we showed that inhibition of both Wnt-2 and Gal-3 had synergistic effects on suppressing canonical Wnt signaling and inducing apoptosis, suggesting that aberrant canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in colorectal cancer can be regulated at multiple levels. The combined inhibition of Wnt-2 and Gal-3 may be of superior therapeutic advantage to inhibition by either one of them, giving rise to a potential development of novel drugs for the targeted treatment of colorectal cancer.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Yu-Ching Lin, Sep 20, 2014
0 Followers
 · 
216 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This review summarizes selected studies on galectin-3 (Gal3) as an example of the dynamic behavior of a carbohydrate-binding protein in the cytoplasm and nucleus of cells. Within the 15-member galectin family of proteins, Gal3 (M(r) approximately 30,000) is the sole representative of the chimera subclass in which a proline- and glycine-rich NH(2)-terminal domain is fused onto a COOH-terminal carbohydrate recognition domain responsible for binding galactose-containing glycoconjugates. The protein shuttles between the cytoplasm and nucleus on the basis of targeting signals that are recognized by importin(s) for nuclear localization and exportin-1 (CRM1) for nuclear export. Depending on the cell type, specific experimental conditions in vitro, or tissue location, Gal3 has been reported to be exclusively cytoplasmic, predominantly nuclear, or distributed between the two compartments. The nuclear versus cytoplasmic distribution of the protein must reflect, then, some balance between nuclear import and export, as well as mechanisms of cytoplasmic anchorage or binding to a nuclear component. Indeed, a number of ligands have been reported for Gal3 in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus. Most of the ligands appear to bind Gal3, however, through protein-protein interactions rather than through protein-carbohydrate recognition. In the cytoplasm, for example, Gal3 interacts with the apoptosis repressor Bcl-2 and this interaction may be involved in Gal3's anti-apoptotic activity. In the nucleus, Gal3 is a required pre-mRNA splicing factor; the protein is incorporated into spliceosomes via its association with the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) complex. Although the majority of these interactions occur via the carbohydrate recognition domain of Gal3 and saccharide ligands such as lactose can perturb some of these interactions, the significance of the protein's carbohydrate-binding activity, per se, remains a challenge for future investigations.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 08/2009; 1800(2):181-9. DOI:10.1016/j.bbagen.2009.07.005 · 4.66 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The constitutive activation of beta-catenin-dependent ('canonical') Wnt signalling is a necessary initiating event in the genesis of most colorectal cancers. As this constitutive activation occurs through genetic mutation of one of the down-stream components of the signalling pathway, it was presumed that additional regulation of beta-catenin-dependent Wnt signalling would be inconsequential. However, it is now recognised that additional modulation of beta-catenin-dependent Wnt signalling is involved in tumour progression, and many of the genes associated with tumour invasion and metastasis are beta-catenin/TCF transcriptional target genes that are dynamically regulated during cancer progression. Intriguingly, the demonstration that naturally occurring inhibitors of Wnt-Frizzled (FZD) interaction are bona fide tumour suppressors in this cancer suggests that additional modulation of Wnt signalling is via the upstream components of the pathway. This is corroborated by recent studies that demonstrate tumour-promoting roles for Wnt and FZD per se. Moreover, both beta-catenin-dependent and beta-catenin-independent Wnt/FZD-mediated signalling is implicated during the dynamic and reversible EMT and MET that underscore colorectal cancer progression. Importantly, therapeutic targeting of the Wnt signalling pathway at the plasma membrane is clearly indicated by the profound anti-tumour activity of small molecule inhibitors and dominant-negative receptor constructs that target the receptor complex. The potential to effectively target EMT and MET processes at the plasma membrane via the upstream components of the Wnt signalling pathway offers new hope for anti-cancer therapy.
    Clinical and Experimental Metastasis 02/2008; 25(6):657-63. DOI:10.1007/s10585-008-9156-4 · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of thyroid nodules increases with age, average 4-7% for the U.S.A. adult population, but it is much higher (19-67%) when sub-clinical nodules are considered. About 90% of these lesions are benign and a reliable approach to their preoperative characterization is necessary. Unfortunately conventional thyroid scintigraphy does not allow the distinction among benign and malignant thyroid proliferations but it provides only functional information (cold or hot nodules). The expression of the anti-apoptotic molecule galectin-3 is restricted to cancer cells and this feature has potential diagnostic and therapeutic implications. We show here the possibility to obtain thyroid cancer imaging in vivo by targeting galectin-3. The galectin-3 based thyroid immuno-scintigraphy uses as radiotracer a specific (99m)Tc-radiolabeled mAb. A position-sensitive high-resolution mini-gamma camera was used as imaging capture device. Human galectin-3 positive thyroid cancer xenografts (ARO) and galectin-3 knockout tumors were used as targets in different experiments in vivo. 38 mice with tumor mass of about 1 gm were injected in the tail vein with 100 microCi of (99m)Tc-labeled mAb to galectin-3 (30 microg protein/in 100 microl saline solution). Tumor images were acquired at 1 hr, 3 hrs, 6 hrs, 9 hrs and 24 hrs post injection by using the mini-gamma camera. Results from different consecutive experiments show an optimal visualization of thyroid cancer xenografts between 6 and 9 hours from injection of the radiotracer. Galectin-3 negative tumors were not detected at all. At 6 hrs post-injection galectin-3 expressing tumors were correctly visualized, while the whole-body activity had essentially cleared. These results demonstrate the possibility to distinguish preoperatively benign from malignant thyroid nodules by using a specific galectin-3 radio-immunotargeting. In vivo imaging of thyroid cancer may allow a better selection of patients referred to surgery. The possibility to apply this method for imaging and treatment of other galectin-3 expressing tumors is also discussed.
    PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(11):e3768. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0003768 · 3.53 Impact Factor