Molecular cloning, gene structure, and expression analyses of NKD1 and NKD2
Published online on: Thursday, November 1, 2001
Mouse Nkd is a Dishevelled-binding protein, functioning as a negative regulator of WNT - β-catenin - TCF signaling pathway. Here, human NKD1 and NKD2 were cloned and characterized. NKD1 and NKD2 were predicted to encode 470- and 451-amino-acid polypeptide, respectively. NKD1 and NKD2, showing 43.8% total amino-acid identity, were more homologous in the NH1, NH2, NH3, and NH4 domains. The NH2 domain of NKD1 and NKD2 contained the EF-hand motif. Exon-intron structures of NKD1 and NKD2 genes, consisting of 10 exons, were well conserved. NKD1 was highly expressed in fetal kidney, while NKD2 was moderately expressed in fetal kidney, lung, and adult lung. NKD1 was up-regulated in colorectal cancer cell line SW480, gastric cancer cell line TMK1, and pancreatic cancer cell line Hs700T. NKD2 was up-regulated in gastric cancer cell line MKN45, pancreatic cancer cell line BxPC-3, and esophageal cancer cell lines TE6, and TE13. NKD1 and NKD2 were up-regulated together in 1 case of primary gastric cancer out of 10 cases, and were down-regulated together in 2 cases. Up-regulation of NKD1 or NKD2 might be due to a negative feed-back mechanism. Alternatively, genetic alteration of NKD1 or NKD2 might lead to activation of the WNT - β-catenin - TCF signaling pathway.