[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, scientists have advocated the use of targeted therapies in the form of drugs that modulate genes and proteins that are directly associated with cancer progression and metastasis. Malignant melanoma is a dreadful cancer type that has been associated with the rapid dissemination of primary tumors to multiple sites, including bone, brain, liver and lungs. The discovery that approximately 40%–50% of malignant melanomas contain a mutation in BRAF at codon 600 gave scientists a new approach to tackle this disease. However, clinical studies on patients have shown that although BRAFi (BRAF inhibitors) trigger early anti-tumor responses, the majority of patients later develop resistance to the therapy. Recent studies have shown that WNT5A plays a key role in enhancing the resistance of melanoma cells to BRAFi. The focus of the current review will be on melanoma development, signaling pathways important to acquired resistance to BRAFi, and why WNT5A inhibitors are attractive candidates to be included in combinatorial therapies for melanoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extensive research has demonstrated a tumor-promoting role of increased WNT5A expression in malignant melanoma. However, very little light has been shed upon how WNT5A expression is up-regulated in melanoma. A potential regulator of WNT5A expression is the pro-inflammatory cytokine Interleukin (IL)-6, which shares the ability of WNT5A to increase melanoma cell invasion. Here, we investigate whether IL-6 can promote melanoma cell motility through an increased expression of WNT5A. We clearly demonstrate that the WNT5A-antagonistic peptide Box5 could inhibit IL-6-induced melanoma cell migration and invasion. Furthermore, IL-6 stimulation of the human melanoma cell lines HTB63 and A375 increased the expression of WNT5A in a dose-dependent manner. To identify the signaling mechanism responsible for this up-regulation, we explored the involvement of the three main signals induced by IL-6; STAT3, Akt and ERK 1/2. Of these, only STAT3 was activated by IL-6 in the melanoma cell lines tested. However, the STAT3 inhibitor S3I-201 failed to inhibit IL-6-induced WNT5A up-regulation in HTB63 and A375 cells. Nor did STAT3 siRNA silencing affect the expression of WNT5A. In search of an alternative signaling mechanism, we detected IL-6-induced activation of p38-MAPK in HTB63 and A375 cells. The p38-MAPK inhibitor SB203580 abolished the IL-6-induced WNT5A up-regulation and blocked IL-6-induced melanoma cell invasion. The latter effect could be rescued by the addition of recombinant WNT5A. Notably, immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that only the p38α-MAPK isoform was activated by IL-6, and subsequent siRNA silencing of p38α-MAPK abolished the IL-6-induced up-regulation of WNT5A. Taken together, we demonstrate a novel link between the two melanoma pro-metastatic agents IL-6 and WNT5A explaining how IL-6 can increase melanoma cell invasion and thus promote the metastatic process. This finding provides a basis for future therapeutic intervention of melanoma progression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wnt proteins are important for developmental processes and certain diseases. WNT5A is a non-canonical Wnt protein that previously has been shown to play a role in the progression of malignant melanoma. High expression of WNT5A in melanoma tumors correlates to formation of distant metastasis and poor prognosis. This has partly been described by the findings that WNT5A expression in melanoma cell lines increases migration and invasion.
Malignant melanoma cell lines were treated with rWNT5A or WNT5A siRNA, and mRNA versus protein levels of soluble mediators were measured using RT-PCR, cytokine bead array and ELISA. The induced signaling pathways were analyzed using inhibitors, Rho-GTPase pull down assays and western blot. Ultracentrifugation and electron microscopy was used to analyze microvesicles. Gene expression microarray data obtained from primary malignant melanomas was used to verify our data.
We show that WNT5A signaling induces a Ca2+-dependent release of exosomes containing the immunomodulatory and pro-angiogenic proteins IL-6, VEGF and MMP2 in melanoma cells. The process was independent of the transcriptional machinery and depletion of WNT5A reduced the levels of the exosome-derived proteins. The WNT5A induced exosomal secretion was neither affected by Tetanus toxin nor Brefeldin A, but was blocked by the calcium chelator Bapta, inhibited by a dominant negative version of the small Rho-GTPase Cdc42 and was accompanied by cytoskeletal reorganization. Co-cultures of melanoma/endothelial cells showed that depletion of WNT5A in melanoma cells decreased endothelial cell branching, while stimulation of endothelial cells with isolated rWNT5A-induced melanoma exosomes increased endothelial cell branching in vitro. Finally, gene expression data analysis of primary malignant melanomas revealed a correlation between WNT5A expression and the angiogenesis marker ESAM.
These data indicate that WNT5A has a broader function on tumor progression and metastatic spread than previously known; by inducing exosome-release of immunomodulatory and pro-angiogenic factors that enhance the immunosuppressive and angiogenic capacity of the tumors thus rendering them more aggressive and more prone to metastasize.
Molecular Cancer 04/2014; 13(1):88. DOI:10.1186/1476-4598-13-88 · 4.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: WNT5A has been identified as an important ligand in the malignant progression of a number of tumours. Although WNT5A signalling is often altered in cancer, the ligand(')s role as either a tumour suppressor or oncogene varies between tumour types and is a contemporary issue for investigators of β-catenin (CTNNB1)-independent WNT signalling in oncology. Here we report that one of the initial effects of active WNT5A signalling in malignant melanoma cells is an alteration in cellular energy metabolism and specifically an increase in aerobic glycolysis. This was found to be at least in part due to an increase in active Akt signalling and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity. The clinical relevance of these findings was strengthened by a strong correlation (p<0.001) between the expression of WNT5A and LDH isoform V in a cohort of melanocytic neoplasms. We also found effects of WNT5A on energy metabolism in breast cancer cells, but rather than promoting aerobic glycolysis as it does in melanoma, WNT5A signalling increased oxidative phosphorylation rates in breast cancer cells. These findings support a new role for WNT5A in the metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells that is a cellular context-dependent event.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wnt-5a protein expression in primary tumors from unselected breast cancer patients has revealed a tumor suppressive function of the protein. However, in vitro experiments on human breast cancer cells have reported contradictory results, indicating both a tumor suppressive and promoting functions of Wnt-5a. This could be due to various functions of Wnt-5a in different subgroups of patients. The unselected cohorts analyzed to date for Wnt-5a protein expression contained few premenopausal patients. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the prognostic significance of Wnt-5a protein expression in a cohort of premenopausal women with comprehensive data on biomarkers, molecular subtypes and long-term outcome. In a randomized trial of adjuvant tamoxifen versus no adjuvant treatment, 564 premenopausal primary breast cancer patients were included. The median follow-up time was 14 years. A tumor tissue array was constructed and 361 samples were evaluated for Wnt-5a reactivity by immunohistochemistry. The primary end-point was recurrence-free survival. Wnt-5a protein expression was reduced or lost in 146/361 of tumors and correlated to younger age, estrogen receptor (ER) negativity and triple-negative phenotype. Wnt-5a was a prognostic factor in the whole cohort (p = 0.003). In patients with ER-positive tumors, Wnt-5a was an independent positive prognostic marker (HR 0.51 95% CI: 0.33-0.78 p = 0.002) and HER2 a negative prognostic marker (HR 2.84 95% CI: 1.51-5.31, p = 0.001) in a Cox multivariate analysis adjusted for standard prognostic markers and tamoxifen treatment. In the ER-negative subset, Wnt-5a added no prognostic information. In a subgroup analysis, Wnt-5a was significantly associated with better prognosis in patients with Luminal A tumors (p = 0.04). Conclusively, our results suggest that loss of Wnt-5a is a valuable prognostic marker in premenopausal breast cancer patients in particular in patients with ER-positive tumors and out-performed conventional prognostic factors in this subset of patients.
PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e70890. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0070890 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract
An important role for WNT-5A is implicated in a variety of tumors, including breast carcinoma. We previously showed that WNT-5A signaling inhibits migration and metastasis of breast cancer cells, and that patients with primary breast cancer in which WNT-5A was expressed have a better prognosis. Despite the fact that RhoGTPase Cdc42 is commonly associated with increased cell migration, we here show that recombinant WNT-5A activates the Cdc42 in breast cancer cells (lines MDA-MB468 and MDA-MB231) in a time-dependent manner. Activation of Cdc42 was also observed in MDA-MB468 cells that were stably transfected with a WNT-5A plasmid (MDA-MB468-5A). In all situations, increased Cdc42 activity was accompanied by decreased migration and invasion of the breast cancer cells. To explore these findings further we also investigated the effect of WNT-5A signaling on ERK1/2 activity. Apart from an initial Ca2+-dependent rWNT-5A-induced activation of ERK1/2, Cdc42 activity was inversely correlated with ERK1/2 activity in both rWNT-5A-stimulated parental MDA-MB468 and MDA-MB468-5A cells. We also demonstrated increased ERK1/2 activity in MDA-MB468-5A cells following siRNA knockdown of Cdc42. Consistent with these results, breast cancer cells transfected with constitutively active Cdc42 exhibited reduced ERK1/2 activity, migration and invasion, whereas cells transfected with dominant negative Cdc42 had increased ERK1/2 activity in response to rWNT-5A. To gain information on how ERK1/2 can mediate its effect on breast cancer cell migration and invasion, we next investigated and demonstrated that WNT-5A signaling and constitutively active Cdc42 both decreased matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) activity. These data indicate an essential role of Cdc42 and ERK1/2 signaling and MMP9 activity in WNT-5A-impaired breast cancer cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An important role for WNT-5A is implicated in a variety of tumors, including breast carcinoma. We previously showed that WNT-5A signaling inhibits migration and metastasis of breast cancer cells, and that patients with primary breast cancer in which WNT-5A was expressed have a better prognosis. Despite the fact that RhoGTPase Cdc42 is commonly associated with increased cell migration, we here show that recombinant WNT-5A activates the Cdc42 in breast cancer cells (lines MDA-MB468 and MDA-MB231) in a time-dependent manner. Activation of Cdc42 was also observed in MDA-MB468 cells that were stably transfected with a WNT-5A plasmid (MDA-MB468-5A). In all situations, increased Cdc42 activity was accompanied by decreased migration and invasion of the breast cancer cells. To explore these findings further we also investigated the effect of WNT-5A signaling on ERK1/2 activity. Apart from an initial Ca(2+)-dependent rWNT-5A-induced activation of ERK1/2, Cdc42 activity was inversely correlated with ERK1/2 activity in both rWNT-5A-stimulated parental MDA-MB468 and MDA-MB468-5A cells. We also demonstrated increased ERK1/2 activity in MDA-MB468-5A cells following siRNA knockdown of Cdc42. Consistent with these results, breast cancer cells transfected with constitutively active Cdc42 exhibited reduced ERK1/2 activity, migration and invasion, whereas cells transfected with dominant negative Cdc42 had increased ERK1/2 activity in response to rWNT-5A. To gain information on how ERK1/2 can mediate its effect on breast cancer cell migration and invasion, we next investigated and demonstrated that WNT-5A signaling and constitutively active Cdc42 both decreased matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) activity. These data indicate an essential role of Cdc42 and ERK1/2 signaling and MMP9 activity in WNT-5A-impaired breast cancer cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wnt5a, a member of non-canonical wingless-related MMTV integration site family is a secreted glycoprotein that plays important roles in development and disease. Recent studies have shown that Wnt5a protein levels are up-regulated in prostate cancer, but contrasting reports exist on the role of Wnt5a to predict outcome after radical prostatectomy in patients with localized prostate cancer. Our group has recently shown that preserved high protein expression of Wnt5a in prostate cancer is associated with longer relapse-free time after radical prostatectomy. The present tissue microarray study emphasizes the role of Wnt5a protein expression in a different, well-defined, and independent cohort consisting of 312 prostate cancer patients. Kaplan-Meier curves plotted between Wnt5a expression and time to biochemical recurrence revealed that in low-grade prostate cancer, patients with preserved high-Wnt5a protein levels in their tumor cells have a lower risk of recurrence after radical prostatectomy compared to patients with low-Wnt5a protein expression. When Wnt5a protein expression was added to a Cox regression multivariate analysis, both Wnt5a protein expression and surgical margin status independently predict biochemical free survival. Herein we confirm Wnt5a positivity as a prognostic factor and show that preserved overexpression of Wnt5a protein is associated with increased time to biochemical recurrence in localized low-grade prostate cancer patients after radical prostatectomy. Our results emphasize that Wnt5a can be used as a predictive biomarker, and favoring the view of Wnt5a as a future therapeutic target in prostate cancer patients with tumor cells displaying low expression of Wnt5a.
Cancer Medicine 08/2012; 1(1):96-104. DOI:10.1002/cam4.5 · 2.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wnt5a is a non-canonical secreted glycoprotein of the Wnt family that plays an important role in cancer development and progression. Previous studies report that Wnt5a is upregulated in prostate cancer and suggested that Wnt5a affects migration and invasion of prostate tumor cell. This study aimed to evaluate the prognostic value of Wnt5a protein expression in prostate cancer tissue and its potential to predict outcome after radical prostatectomy in patients with localized prostate cancer.
Immunohistochemical analysis of a tissue microarray containing prostate specimens of 503 patients with localized prostate cancer showed significantly higher Wnt5a protein expression in cancer compared to benign cores from the same patients (p<0.0001). Patients with high expression of Wnt5a protein had significantly better outcome in terms of time to biochemical recurrence compared to patients with low expression levels (p = 0.001, 95%CI 1.361-3.570, Hazard's ratio 2.204). A combination of high Wnt5a expression with low levels of Ki-67 or androgen receptor expression had even better outcome compared to all other groups. Furthermore, we found that Wnt5a expression significantly correlated with VEGF and with Ki-67 and androgen receptor expression, although not highly significant. In vitro, we demonstrated that recombinant Wnt5a decreased invasion of 22Rv1 and DU145 cells and that siRNA knockdown of endogenous Wnt5a protein led to increased invasion of 22Rv1 and LNCaP cells.
We demonstrate that preserved overexpression of Wnt5a protein in patients with localized prostate cancer predicts a favorable outcome after surgery. This finding together with our in vitro data demonstrating the ability of Wnt5a to impair the invasive properties of prostate cancer cells, suggests a tumor suppressing effect of Wnt5a in localized prostate cancer. These results indicate that Wnt5a can be used as a predictive marker and that it also is a plausible therapeutic target for treatment of localized prostate cancer.
PLoS ONE 10/2011; 6(10):e26539. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0026539 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The fact that breast cancer patients with local or distal dissemination exhibit decreased survival, promotes a search for novel mechanisms to suppress such tumor progression. Here, we have determined the expression of proinflammatory cysteinyl leukotriene receptors (CysLTRs) in breast tumor tissue and their signaling effect on breast cancer cell functions related to tumor progression. Patients with breast tumors characterized by high CysLT(1)R and low CysLT(2)R expression levels exhibited increased risk of cancer-induced death in univariate analysis for both the total patient group (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11-7.41), as well as patients with large (>20 mm) tumors (HR = 5.08, 95% CI = 1.39-18.5). Multivariate analysis revealed that patients with large tumors exhibiting high CysLT(1)R and low CysLT(2)R expression levels had a significantly reduced survival, also when adjusted for established prognostic parameters (HR = 7.51, 95% CI = 1.83-30.8). In patients with large (>20 mm) tumors, elevated CysLT(2)R expression predicted an improved 5-year survival (log-rank test p = 0.04). Surprisingly, for longer time periods, this prognostic value was lost. This disappearance coincided with the termination of hormonal treatment. Tamoxifen preserved and even induced transcription of CysLT(2)R, but not CysLT(1)R, in estrogene receptor-positive MCF-7 breast cancer cells. This elevated CysLT(2)R expression decreased, even below the level of untreated cells, when tamoxifen was withdrawn. CysLT(2)R signaling reduced MCF-7 cell migration, but had no effect on either proliferation or apoptosis. Our data indicate that low CysLT(1)R together with high CysLT(2)R expression levels might be useful parameters in prognostication and treatment stratification of breast cancer patients.
International Journal of Cancer 07/2011; 129(1):9-22. DOI:10.1002/ijc.25648 · 5.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wnt signaling is important in development and can also contribute to the initiation and progression of cancer. The Secreted Frizzled Related Proteins (SFRPs) constitute a family of Wnt modulators, crucial for controlling Wnt signaling. Here we investigate the expression and role of SFRP3 in melanoma.
We show that SFRP3 mRNA is down-regulated in malignant melanoma tumors as compared to normal/benign tissue. Furthermore, we found that SFRP3 expression was lost in the malignant melanoma cell lines, A2058, HTB63 and A375, but not in the non-transformed melanocyte cell line, Hermes 3A. Methylated CpG rich areas were detected in the SFRP3 gene in melanoma cell lines and their SFRP3 expression could be restored using the demethylating agent, 5'aza-deoxycytidine. Addition of recombinant SFRP3 to melanoma cells had no effect on viable cell numbers, but decreased cell migration and invasion. Wnt5a signaling has been shown to increase the migration and invasion of malignant melanoma cells, and high expression of Wnt5a in melanoma tumors has been connected to a poor prognosis. We found that recombinant SFRP3 could inhibit Wnt5a signaling, and that it inhibited melanoma cell migration and invasion in a Wnt5a-dependent manner.
We conclude that SFRP3 functions as a melanoma migration and invasion suppressor by interfering with Wnt5a signaling.
PLoS ONE 04/2011; 6(4):e18674. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0018674 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retraction for: "The WNT-5a derived peptide, Foxy-5, possesses dual properties that impair progression of ERa negative breast cancer," by Caroline E. Ford, Elin J. Ekström, Jillian Howlin and Tommy Andersson, which appeared in the June 15, 2009 issue of Cell Cycle (Ford CE, et al. Cell Cycle 2009; 8:1838-1842; 10.4161/cc.8.12.8863). The authors wish to note the following: "Recently a paper, on which I was the senior author and that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled "Wnt-5a signaling restores tamoxifen sensitivity in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cells" (Ford CE, Ekström EJ, Andersson T. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2009; 106:3919-24) was retracted. The fact that this paper was the direct reason for our review article in the Cell Cycle journal makes it logical that I also retract the cited review article published in the Cell Cycle journal, the other authors approve this retraction. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The influential role of Wnt5a in tumor progression underscores the requirement for developing molecules that can target Wnt5a-mediated cellular responses. In the aggressive skin cancer, melanoma, elevated Wnt5a expression promotes cell motility and drives metastasis. Two approaches can be used to counteract these effects: inhibition of Wnt5a expression or direct blockade of Wnt5a signaling. We have investigated both options in the melanoma cell lines, A2058 and HTB63. Both express Frizzled-5, which has been implicated as the receptor for Wnt5a in melanoma cells. However, only the HTB63 cell line expresses and secretes Wnt5a. In these cells, the cytokine, TGFbeta1, controlled the expression of Wnt5a, but due to the unpredictable effects of TGFbeta1 signaling on melanoma cell motility, targeting Wnt5a signaling via TGFbeta1 was an unsuitable strategy to pursue. We therefore attempted to target Wnt5a signaling directly. Exogenous Wnt5a stimulation of A2058 cells increased adhesion, migration and invasion, all crucial components of tumor metastasis, and the Wnt5a-derived N-butyloxycarbonyl hexapeptide (Met-Asp-Gly-Cys-Glu-Leu; 0.766 kDa) termed Box5, abolished these responses. Box5 also inhibited the basal migration and invasion of Wnt5a-expressing HTB63 melanoma cells. Box5 antagonized the effects of Wnt5a on melanoma cell migration and invasion by directly inhibiting Wnt5a-induced protein kinase C and Ca(2+) signaling, the latter of which we directly demonstrate to be essential for cell invasion. The Box5 peptide directly inhibits Wnt5a signaling, representing an approach to anti-metastatic therapy for otherwise rapidly progressive melanoma, and for other Wnt5a-stimulated invasive cancers.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2009; 106(46):19473-8. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0909409106 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor cell migration plays a central role in the process of cancer metastasis. We recently identified dopamine and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein of 32 kDa (DARPP-32) as an antimigratory phosphoprotein in breast cancer cells. Here we link this effect of DARPP-32 to Wnt-5a signaling by demonstrating that recombinant Wnt-5a triggers cAMP elevation at the plasma membrane and Thr34-DARPP-32 phosphorylation in MCF-7 cells. In agreement, both protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitors and siRNA-mediated knockdown of Frizzled-3 receptor or Galpha(s) expression abolished Wnt-5a-induced phosphorylation of DARPP-32. Furthermore, Wnt-5a induced DARPP-32-dependent inhibition of MCF-7 cell migration. Phospho-Thr-34-DARPP-32 interacted with protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) and potentiated the Wnt-5a-mediated phosphorylation of CREB, a well-known PP1 substrate, but had no effect on CREB phosphorylation by itself. Moreover, inhibition of the Wnt-5a/DARPP-32/CREB pathway, by expression of dominant negative CREB (DN-CREB), diminished the antimigratory effect of Wnt-5a-induced phospho-Thr-34-DARPP-32. Phalloidin-staining revealed that that the presence of phospho-Thr-34-DARPP-32 in MCF-7 cells results in reduced filopodia formation. In accordance, the activity of the Rho GTPase Cdc42, known to be crucial for filopodia formation, was reduced in MCF-7 cells expressing phospho-Thr-34-DARPP-32. The effects of DARPP-32 on cell migration and filopodia formation could be reversed in T47D breast cancer cells that were depleted of their endogenous DARPP-32 by siRNA targeting. Consequently, Wnt-5a activates a Frizzled-3/Galpha(s)/cAMP/PKA signaling pathway that triggers a DARPP-32- and CREB-dependent antimigratory response in breast cancer cells, representing a novel mechanism whereby Wnt-5a can inhibit breast cancer cell migration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite improvements in detection and treatment, breast cancer remains the most common female cancer worldwide, and metastatic associated mortality is a significant public health issue. Patients with tumors negative for estrogen receptor (ERalpha), have a particularly poor prognosis, partly due to their inability to respond to current endocrine treaments. Expression of Wnt-5a has been associated with prolonged recurrence free survivial in clinical material, and Wnt-5a also inhibits migration and invasion of breast cancer cell lines. Loss of Wnt-5a is associated with loss of ERalpha in clinical breast cancer material, and Wnt-5a signaling upregulates ERalpha in ERalpha negative breast cancer cell lines. A Wnt-5a derived hexapeptide, Foxy-5, has been developed and like Wnt-5a, increases adhesion and inhibits migration of breast cancer cells. Furthermore, Foxy-5 significantly reduced liver and lung metastases in a murine ERalpha negative breast cancer model. Foxy-5 also upregulated ERalpha in this in vivo model and most significantly, in vitro rendered cells responsive to the selective estrogen receptor modulator, Tamoxifen. Together these studies suggest that Foxy-5 may be a potential new supplementary treatment for ERalpha negative breast cancer patients, as it addresses two of the most important aspects of cancer related mortality -- non response to endocrine therapy and metastasis.