Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in the world for both men and women, and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for the majority of lung cancer. Nearly 80% of lung cancer is diagnosed at an advanced inoperable stage, and current systemic therapy offers only modest benefits for lung cancer patients. The overall goal of this study is to determine the role of ?-catenin independent (i.e. non-canonical) Wnt signaling on the initiation and promotion of NSCLC. Our findings to date suggest two seemingly unrelated Wnt 7a functions: 1) that Wnt 7a acts as a tumor suppressor in normal lung epithelia, and 2) that activation of Wnt 7a activates ?-catenin independent (non-canonical) Wnt signaling through Fzd9, inducing activation of the tumor suppressor gene PPAR?. In previous work, we have demonstrated that Wnt 7a and/or Fzd 9 expression is frequently reduced in NSCLC, and that the loss of Wnt 7a and/or Fzd 9 is strongly associated with epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), loss of cellular polarity, and increased susceptibility to lung carcinogenesis in mice. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that Wnt 7a/Fzd9 signaling plays a novel role in establishing and/or maintaining cell polarity, and functions as a tumor suppressor in the lung epithelium by regulating non- canonical Wnt (?-catenin independent) signaling. Moreover, our recent finding of frequent promoter methylation of Wnt 7a in human lung cancer makes Wnt 7a a potentially attractive future therapeutic target in the treatment of NSCLC.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States. In fact, more deaths will occur this year due to lung cancer than breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers combined. The experimental strategies outlined in this project are designed to evaluate the contribution of the non-canonical Wnt pathway to lung cancer and to identify genetic targets of this pathway that could be used to develop potential small molecular therapeutic targets for the treatment of lung cancer.
|Wallace, Jennillee; Lutgen, Victoria; Avasarala, Sreedevi et al. (2018) Wnt7a induces a unique phenotype of monocyte-derived macrophages with lower phagocytic capacity and differential expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Immunology 153:203-213|
|Bikkavilli, Rama Kamesh; Zerayesus, Sereke Adam; Van Scoyk, Michelle et al. (2017) K-homology splicing regulatory protein (KSRP) promotes post-transcriptional destabilization of Spry4 transcripts in non-small cell lung cancer. J Biol Chem 292:7423-7434|
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|Parrish, J K; Sechler, M; Winn, R A et al. (2015) The histone demethylase KDM3A is a microRNA-22-regulated tumor promoter in Ewing Sarcoma. Oncogene 34:257-62|
|Sechler, Marybeth; Borowicz, Stanley; Van Scoyk, Michelle et al. (2015) Novel Role for ?-Catenin in the Regulation of Cancer Cell Migration via the Induction of Hepatocyte Growth Factor Activator Inhibitor Type 1 (HAI-1). J Biol Chem 290:15610-20|
|Bikkavilli, Rama Kamesh; Avasarala, Sreedevi; Van Scoyk, Michelle et al. (2014) In vitro methylation assay to study protein arginine methylation. J Vis Exp :e51997|
|Avasarala, Sreedevi; Bikkavilli, Rama Kamesh; Van Scoyk, Michelle et al. (2013) Heterotrimeric G-protein, G?16, is a critical downstream effector of non-canonical Wnt signaling and a potent inhibitor of transformed cell growth in non small cell lung cancer. PLoS One 8:e76895|
|Bikkavilli, Rama Kamesh; Avasarala, Sreedevi; Vanscoyk, Michelle et al. (2012) Dishevelled3 is a novel arginine methyl transferase substrate. Sci Rep 2:805|
|Tennis, Meredith A; Vanscoyk, Michelle M; Wilson, Lora A et al. (2012) Methylation of Wnt7a is modulated by DNMT1 and cigarette smoke condensate in non-small cell lung cancer. PLoS One 7:e32921|
|Tennis, Meredith A; Van Scoyk, Michelle; Heasley, Lynn E et al. (2010) Prostacyclin inhibits non-small cell lung cancer growth by a frizzled 9-dependent pathway that is blocked by secreted frizzled-related protein 1. Neoplasia 12:244-53|
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