The ubiquitin ligase RNF43 downregulation increases membrane expression of frizzled receptor in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
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RNF43 is a novel tumor suppressor protein and known to be expressed in a multitude of tissue and dysregulated in cancers of these organs including ovarian and colorectal tissues. RNF43 expression has been shown to be expressed in mutated forms in several pancreatic cell lines. RNF43, by virtue of being an ubiquitin ligase, has the potential to ubiquitinylate membrane receptors like frizzled that subserves sensing Wnt soluble signals at the cell membrane. Thus, normally, RNF43 downregulates Wnt signaling by removing frizzled receptor from the membrane. In the present study, the expression of the tumor suppressor RNF43 was examined in human patient samples of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Reduced levels of expression of RNF43 in PDAC were demonstrated by Western blotting. We incorporated membrane biotinylation assay to examine the expression of frizzled6 receptor in the membrane and demonstrated that it is significantly increased in PDAC tissues. This may be responsible for enhanced Wnt/beta-catenin signaling and provides the first level of evidence of a possible role of this well-known pathway in pancreatic exocrine carcinogenesis. We have utilized appropriate controls to ensure the true positivity of the findings of the present study. The contribution of Wnt/beta-catenin/RNF43 pathway in pancreatic carcinogenesis may provide for utilization of pharmacologic resources for precision-based approaches to treat pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
KeywordsTumor suppressor Pancreas Tumor progression Wnt signaling
Conflict of interest
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