WNT/PCP signaling pathway and human cancer (Review)
Published online on: December 1, 2005
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WNT/planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling pathway controls tissue polarity and cell movement through the activation of RHOA, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and nemo-like kinase (NLK) signaling cascades. PCP is induced in Drosophila by the asymmetrical localization of Frizzled-Dishevelled-Diego-Starry night (Flamingo) complex and Van Gogh (Strabismus)-Prickle complex. Here, WNT/PCP signaling pathway implicated in human carcinogenesis is reviewed. Human WNT5A, WNT5B, and WNT11 are representative non-canonical WNTs transducing PCP signals through FZD3 or FZD6 receptors, and ROR1, ROR2 or PTK7 co-receptors. Human VANGL1, VANGL2 (Van Gogh homologs), CELSR1, CELSR2, CELSR3 (Starry night homologs), DVL1, DVL2, DVL3 (Dishevelled homologs), PRICKLE1, PRICKLE2 (Prickle homologs), and ANKRD6 (Diego homolog) are core PCP signaling molecules. MAGI3 assembles FZD, VANGL, PTEN, and adhesion molecules. Dishevelled-dependent WNT/PCP signals are transduced to the RHOA signaling cascade through Formin homology proteins DAAM1 and DAAM2, and to the JNK signaling cascade through MAPKKKs and MAPKK4/7. Dishevelled-independent WNT/ PCP signals are transduced to the NLK signaling cascade through MAP3K7 (TAK1). ANKRD6, NKD1 and NKD2 induce class switch from the WNT/GSK3β signaling pathway to the WNT/PCP signaling pathway. WNT5A is up-regulated in various types of human cancer, such as gastric cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma. FZD3/FZD6 receptor and ROR2 co-receptor transduce WNT5A signal in gastric cancer. Aberrant activation of WNT/PCP signaling pathway in human cancer leads to more malignant phenotypes, such as abnormal tissue polarity, invasion, and metastasis. cDNA-PCR, microarray or ELISA reflecting aberrant activation of WNT/PCP signaling pathway could be developed as novel cancer prognostics. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and copy number polymorphism (CNP) of WNT/PCP signaling molecules mentioned above are suitable for use in screening of cancer predisposition, especially for gastric cancer. Antibody, RNAi, or small molecule compounds to regulate the function of WNT/PCP signaling molecules mentioned above are good candidates for development as novel cancer therapeutics.