Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 143–152 | Cite as

Secreted frizzled-related protein 4 and its implications in cancer and apoptosis

  • Sebastian Pohl
  • Ross Scott
  • Frank Arfuso
  • Vanathi Perumal
  • Arun Dharmarajan


Secreted frizzled-related protein 4 (SFRP4) is a glycoprotein that acts as an antagonist of Wnt ligands, causing inhibition of the canonical Wnt signalling pathway. First noticed due to high expression levels during times of increased apoptosis, SFRP4 has been implicated in cell proliferation and differentiation and plays an important role in carcinogenesis. Many tumours such as endometrial, cervical, ovarian, prostate, bladder, colorectal, mesothelioma, pancreatic, renal, and oesophageal tumours are characterised by aberrant promoter hypermethylation, which causes variations in the expression level of SFRP4 when compared to normal cells. Combined experimental data appear to confirm the suggested role of SFRP4 as a local initiator of apoptosis; however, increased SFRP4 expression may not always correlate with an increase in apoptosis, possibly due to the complex interactions between different signalling pathways. SFRP4 can be explored for its use in novel therapeutic modalities as well as being a potential diagnostic biomarker.


SFRP4 Apoptosis Cancer Wnt signalling 



AD was supported by a grant from Cancer Council. Raine Medical Foundation. and School of Biomedical Sciences Strategic Research Funds, Curtin University. VP was supported by Curtin University International Postgraduate Research Scholarship.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Pohl
    • 1
  • Ross Scott
    • 1
  • Frank Arfuso
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vanathi Perumal
    • 3
  • Arun Dharmarajan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Health SciencesCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, Faculty of ScienceThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  3. 3.School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health SciencesCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia

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