Wnt family members are critical to many developmental processes, and components of the Wnt signaling pathway have been linked to tumorigenesis in familial and sporadic colon carcinomas. Here we report the identification of two genes, WISP-1 and WISP-2, that are up-regulated in the mouse mammary epithelial cell line C57MG transformed by Wnt-1, but not by Wnt-4. Together with a third related gene, WISP-3, these proteins define a subfamily of the connective tissue growth factor family. Two distinct systems demonstrated WISP induction to be associated with the expression of Wnt-1. These included (i) C57MG cells infected with a Wnt-1 retroviral vector or expressing Wnt-1 under the control of a tetracyline repressible promoter, and (ii) Wnt-1 transgenic mice. The WISP-1 gene was localized to human chromosome 8q24.1- 8q24.3. WISP-1 genomic DNA was amplified in colon cancer cell lines and in human colon tumors and its RNA overexpressed (2- to >30-fold) in 84% of the tumors examined compared with patient-matched normal mucosa. WISP-3 mapped to chromosome 6q22-6q23 and also was overexpressed (4- to >40-fold) in 63% of the colon tumors analyzed. In contrast, WISP-2 mapped to human chromosome 20q1220q13 and its DNA was amplified, but RNA expression was reduced (2- to >30-fold) in 79% of the tumors. These results suggest that the WISP genes may be downstream of Wnt-1 signaling and that aberrant levels of WISP expression in colon cancer may play a role in colon tumorigenesis.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Dec 8 1998
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