Downregulation of WIF-1 and Wnt5a in patients with colorectal carcinoma: clinical significance
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Activation of the wingless-type (Wnt) signaling pathway is common in various human cancers including colorectal cancer (CRC). Wnt inhibitory factor-1 (WIF-1) is a secreted antagonist that can bind Wnt ligands and therefore inhibits the Wnt signaling pathway. In this study, we aimed to analyze the expression of two members of Wnt signaling (WIF-1 and Wnt5a) in Tunisian patients with sporadic CRC. WIF-1 was frequently methylated in tumor tissues (87.95 %) compared to normal mucosa (39.54 %) and correlated with distant metastasis and vascular invasion (P = 0.001 and 0.037, respectively). The unmethylated profile of the WIF-1 promoter conferred a benefit to patients in terms of overall survival (P log rank = 0.024). In addition, in the group of patients with methylated WIF-1 promoter, the overall survival rate was significantly prolonged for those with small tumor size (<5 cm) and absence of distant metastasis (P log rank = 0.007 and 0.036, respectively). Aberrant CpG methylation of the WIF-1 promoter leads to transcriptional silencing of this tumor suppressor gene in tumor tissues (P = 0.001). Furthermore, we showed that the level of Wnt5a mRNA was significantly lower in tumor compared to normal tissues (P = 0.031) and lower still in those showing more aggressive behavior (presence of lymph nodes and advanced TNM stage). Our finding supports that WIF-1 is frequently methylated and that Wnt5a acts as a tumor suppressor gene in CRC. Loss of WIF-1 and Wnt5a functions results in more aggressive behavior of the disease.
KeywordsColorectal cancer CpG methylation Wnt signaling Wnt5a Tumor suppressor
This work was supported by a grant of the Tunisian Ministry of High Education and Scientific Research.
Conflicts of interest
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