NFAT5 represses canonical Wnt signaling via inhibition of ?-catenin acetylation and participates in regulating intestinal cell differentiation.
ABSTRACT: The intestinal mucosa undergoes a continual process of proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, which is regulated by multiple signaling pathways. The Wnt/?-catenin pathway has a critical role in this process. Previously, we have shown that the calcineurin-dependent nuclear factor of activated T cell (NFAT) is involved in the regulation of intestinal cell differentiation, as noted by the alteration of brush-border enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) activity. Here, we show that calcineurin-independent NFAT5 interacts with ?-catenin to repress Wnt signaling. We found that overexpression of NFAT5 inhibits, whereas knockdown of NFAT5 increases, TOPflash reporter activity and the expression of Wnt/?-catenin target genes, suggesting that NFAT5 inhibits Wnt signaling. In addition, we demonstrated that NFAT5 directly interacts with the C-terminal transactivation domain (TAD) of ?-catenin, inhibits CBP interaction with ?-catenin, and inhibits CBP-mediated ?-catenin acetylation. Moreover, NFAT5 is expressed in the mucosa of human intestine, with the most pronounced staining in the most differentiated region near the epithelial surface. Knockdown of NFAT5 attenuated sodium butyrate (NaBT)-mediated induction of IAP and sucrase activities; overexpression of NFAT5 induced IAP promoter activity. In summary, we provide evidence showing that NFAT5 is a regulator of Wnt signaling. Importantly, our results suggest that NFAT5 regulation of intestinal cell differentiation may be through inhibition of Wnt/?-catenin signaling.
Project description:Epithelial cells of the intestinal mucosa undergo a continual process of proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis which is regulated by multiple signaling pathways. The Wnt/beta-catenin pathway plays a critical role in this process. Mutations in the Wnt pathway, however, are associated with colorectal cancers. Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is an epithelial transcriptional factor that is down-regulated in many colorectal cancers. Here, we show that KLF4 interacts with beta-catenin and represses beta-catenin-mediated gene expression. Moreover, KLF4 inhibits the axis formation of Xenopus embryos and inhibits xenograft tumor growth in athymic nude mice. Our findings suggest that the cross talk of KLF4 and beta-catenin plays a critical role in homeostasis of the normal intestine as well as in tumorigenesis of colorectal cancers.
Project description:Due to the hyper-activation of WNT signaling in a variety of cancer types, there has been a strong drive to develop pathway-specific inhibitors with the eventual goal of providing a chemotherapeutic antagonist of WNT signaling to cancer patients. A new category of drugs, called epigenetic inhibitors, are being developed that hold high promise for inhibition of the WNT pathway. The canonical WNT signaling pathway initiates when WNT ligands bind to receptors, causing the nuclear localization of the co-activator ?-catenin (CTNNB1), which leads to an association of ?-catenin with a member of the TCF transcription factor family at regulatory regions of WNT-responsive genes. The TCF/?-catenin complex then recruits CBP (CREBBP) or p300 (EP300), leading to histone acetylation and gene activation. A current model in the field is that CBP-driven expression of WNT target genes supports proliferation whereas p300-driven expression of WNT target genes supports differentiation. The small molecule inhibitor ICG-001 binds to CBP, but not to p300, and competitively inhibits the interaction of CBP with ?-catenin. Upon treatment of cancer cells, this should reduce expression of CBP-regulated transcription, leading to reduced tumorigenicity and enhanced differentiation.We have compared the genome-wide effects on the transcriptome after treatment with ICG-001 (the specific CBP inhibitor) versus C646, a compound that competes with acetyl-coA for the Lys-coA binding pocket of both CBP and p300. We found that both drugs cause large-scale changes in the transcriptome of HCT116 colon cancer cells and PANC1 pancreatic cancer cells and reverse some tumor-specific changes in gene expression. Interestingly, although the epigenetic inhibitors affect cell cycle pathways in both the colon and pancreatic cancer cell lines, the WNT signaling pathway was affected only in the colon cancer cells. Notably, WNT target genes were similarly downregulated after treatment of HCT116 with C646 as with ICG-001.Our results suggest that treatment with a general HAT inhibitor causes similar effects on the transcriptome as does treatment with a CBP-specific inhibitor and that epigenetic inhibition affects the WNT pathway in HCT116 cells and the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway in PANC1 cells.
Project description:The intestinal mucosa undergoes a continual process of proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis that is regulated by multiple signaling pathways. Previously, we have shown that the nuclear factor of activated T-cells 5 (NFAT5) is involved in the regulation of intestinal enterocyte differentiation. Here we show that treatment with sodium chloride (NaCl), which activates NFAT5 signaling, increased mTORC1 repressor regulated in development and DNA damage response 1 (REDD1) protein expression and inhibited mTOR signaling; these alterations were attenuated by knockdown of NFAT5. Knockdown of NFAT5 activated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and significantly inhibited REDD1 mRNA expression and protein expression. Consistently, overexpression of NFAT5 increased REDD1 expression. In addition, knockdown of REDD1 activated mTOR and Notch signaling, whereas treatment with mTOR inhibitor rapamycin repressed Notch signaling and increased the expression of the goblet cell differentiation marker mucin 2 (MUC2). Moreover, knockdown of NFAT5 activated Notch signaling and decreased MUC2 expression, while overexpression of NFAT5 inhibited Notch signaling and increased MUC2 expression. Our results demonstrate a role for NFAT5 in the regulation of mTOR signaling in intestinal cells. Importantly, these data suggest that NFAT5 participates in the regulation of intestinal homeostasis via the suppression of mTORC1/Notch signaling pathway.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)/usual interstitial pneumonia is a ravaging condition of progressive lung scarring and destruction. Anti-inflammatory therapies including corticosteroids have limited efficacy in this ultimately fatal disorder. An important unmet need is to identify new agents that interact with key molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis to prevent progression or reverse fibrosis in these patients. Because aberrant activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling cascade occurs in lungs of patients with IPF, we have targeted this pathway for intervention in pulmonary fibrosis using ICG-001, a small molecule that specifically inhibits T-cell factor/beta-catenin transcription in a cyclic AMP response-element binding protein binding protein (CBP)-dependent fashion. ICG-001 selectively blocks the beta-catenin/CBP interaction without interfering with the beta-catenin/p300 interaction. We report here that ICG-001 (5 mg/kg per day) significantly inhibits beta-catenin signaling and attenuates bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis in mice, while concurrently preserving the epithelium. Administration of ICG-001 concurrent with bleomycin prevents fibrosis, and late administration is able to reverse established fibrosis and significantly improve survival. Because no effective treatment for IPF exists, selective inhibition of Wnt/beta-catenin-dependent transcription suggests a potential unique therapeutic approach for pulmonary fibrosis.
Project description:The APC (Adenomatous Polyposis Coli) gene encodes a large multidomain protein that plays an integral role in the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. The loss-of-function mutation in APC is considered the earliest genetic alteration in the course of adenoma-carcinoma sequence of colorectal cancer progression, and the resulting constitutive activation of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is required for the maintenance of advanced colorectal cancer. In order to identify genes affected by loss of Apc function, we performed transcription profiling of mouse small intestinal tissues comparing polyps with normal mucosa of Apc+/Delta716 mice. We isolated total RNA from intestinal polyps and normal intestinal mucosa from 3 individual Apc+/Delta716 mice. Total RNA samples were then employed to perform microarray analysis (Agilent Whole Mouse Genome Microarray Ver. 2.0, 4x44K).
Project description:Interactions between transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) and Wnt are crucial to many biological processes, although specific targets, rationale for divergent outcomes (differentiation versus block of epithelial proliferation versus epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)) and precise mechanisms in many cases remain unknown. We investigated ?-catenin-dependent and transforming growth factor-?1 (TGF-?1) interactions in pulmonary alveolar epithelial cells (AEC) in the context of EMT and pulmonary fibrosis. We previously demonstrated that ICG-001, a small molecule specific inhibitor of the ?-catenin/CBP (but not ?-catenin/p300) interaction, ameliorates and reverses pulmonary fibrosis and inhibits TGF-?1-mediated ?-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA) and collagen induction in AEC. We now demonstrate that TGF-?1 induces LEF/TCF TOPFLASH reporter activation and nuclear ?-catenin accumulation, while LiCl augments TGF-?-induced ?-SMA expression, further confirming co-operation between ?-catenin- and TGF-?-dependent signaling pathways. Inhibition and knockdown of Smad3, knockdown of ?-catenin and overexpression of ICAT abrogated effects of TGF-?1 on ?-SMA transcription/expression, indicating a requirement for ?-catenin in these Smad3-dependent effects. Following TGF-? treatment, co-immunoprecipitation demonstrated direct interaction between endogenous Smad3 and ?-catenin, while chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-re-ChIP identified spatial and temporal regulation of ?-SMA via complex formation among Smad3, ?-catenin, and CBP. ICG-001 inhibited ?-SMA expression/transcription in response to TGF-? as well as ?-SMA promoter occupancy by ?-catenin and CBP, demonstrating a previously unknown requisite TGF-?1/?-catenin/CBP-mediated pro-EMT signaling pathway. Clinical relevance was shown by ?-catenin/Smad3 co-localization and CBP expression in AEC of IPF patients. These findings suggest a new therapeutic approach to pulmonary fibrosis by specifically uncoupling CBP/catenin-dependent signaling downstream of TGF-?.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The WNT-beta-catenin pathway is known to regulate cellular homeostasis during development and tissue regeneration. Activation of WNT signaling increases the stability of cytoplasmic beta-catenin and enhances its nuclear translocation. Nuclear beta-catenin function is regulated by transcriptional co-factors such as CREB binding protein (CBP) and p300. Hyper-activated WNT-beta-catenin signaling is associated with many cancers. However, its role in inducing stemness to liver cancer cells, its autoregulation and how it regulates tumor suppressor pathways are not well understood. Here we have investigated the role of CBP-beta-catenin signaling on the expression of CD133, a known stem cell antigen and PP2A-PTEN pathway in tumor initiating liver cancer cells. METHODS:Human hepatoblastoma cell line HepG2 and clonally expanded CD133 expressing tumor initiating liver cells (TICs) from premalignant murine liver were used in this study. CBP-beta-catenin inhibitor ICG001 was used to target CBP-beta catenin signaling in liver cancer cells in vitro. Western blotting and real time PCR (qPCR) were used to quantify protein expression/phosphorylation and mRNA levels, respectively. CBP and CD133 gene silencing was performed by siRNA transfection. Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) was performed to quantify CD133 positive cells. Protein Phosphatase (PP2A) activity was measured after PP2AC immunoprecipitation. RESULTS:CBP inhibitor ICG001 and CBP silencing significantly reduced CD133 expression and anchorage independent growth in HepG2 and murine TICs. CD133 silencing in TICs decreased cell proliferation and expression levels of cell cycle regulatory genes, CyclinD1 and CyclinA2. ICG001 treatment and CBP silencing reduced the levels of phosphoSer380/Tyr382/383PTEN, phosphoSer473-AKT, Phospho-Ser552beta-catenin in TICs. ICG001 mediated de-phosphorylation of PTEN in TICs was PP2A dependent and partly prevented by co-treatment with PP2A inhibitor okadaic acid. CONCLUSIONS:CBP-beta-catenin signaling promotes stemness via CD133 induction and cell proliferation in TICs. We found a novel functional link between CBP-beta-catenin and PP2A-PTEN-AKT pathway in liver TICs. Therefore, CBP-beta-catenin-PP2A-PTEN-AKT signaling axis could be a novel therapeutic target to prevent liver tumor initiation and cancer recurrence.
Project description:Drug resistance in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) remains a major problem warranting new treatment strategies. Wnt/catenin signaling is critical for the self-renewal of normal hematopoietic progenitor cells. Deregulated Wnt signaling is evident in chronic and acute myeloid leukemia; however, little is known about ALL. Differential interaction of catenin with either the Kat3 coactivator CREBBP (CREB-binding protein (CBP)) or the highly homologous EP300 (p300) is critical to determine divergent cellular responses and provides a rationale for the regulation of both proliferation and differentiation by the Wnt signaling pathway. Usage of the coactivator CBP by catenin leads to transcriptional activation of cassettes of genes that are involved in maintenance of progenitor cell self-renewal. However, the use of the coactivator p300 leads to activation of genes involved in the initiation of differentiation. ICG-001 is a novel small-molecule modulator of Wnt/catenin signaling, which specifically binds to the N-terminus of CBP and not p300, within amino acids 1-110, thereby disrupting the interaction between CBP and catenin. Here, we report that selective disruption of the CBP/?- and ?-catenin interactions using ICG-001 leads to differentiation of pre-B ALL cells and loss of self-renewal capacity. Survivin, an inhibitor-of-apoptosis protein, was also downregulated in primary ALL after treatment with ICG-001. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we demonstrate occupancy of the survivin promoter by CBP that is decreased by ICG-001 in primary ALL. CBP mutations have been recently identified in a significant percentage of ALL patients, however, almost all of the identified mutations reported occur C-terminal to the binding site for ICG-001. Importantly, ICG-001, regardless of CBP mutational status and chromosomal aberration, leads to eradication of drug-resistant primary leukemia in combination with conventional therapy in vitro and significantly prolongs the survival of NOD/SCID mice engrafted with primary ALL. Therefore, specifically inhibiting CBP/catenin transcription represents a novel approach to overcome relapse in ALL.
Project description:Lgr5+ intestinal stem cells are crucial for fast homeostatic renewal of intestinal epithelium and Wnt/?-catenin signaling plays an essential role in this process by sustaining stem cell self-renewal. The poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases tankyrases (TNKSs) mediate protein poly-ADP-ribosylation and are involved in multiple cellular processes such as Wnt signaling regulation, mitotic progression and telomere maintenance. However, little is known about the physiological function of TNKSs in epithelium homeostasis regulation. Here, using Villin-creERT2;Tnks1-/-;Tnks2fl/fl (DKO) mice, we observed that loss of TNKSs causes a rapid decrease of Lgr5+ intestinal stem cells and magnified apoptosis in small intestinal crypts, leading to intestine degeneration and increased mouse mortality. Consistently, deletion of Tnks or blockage of TNKS activity with the inhibitor XAV939 significantly inhibits the growth of intestinal organoids. We further showed that the Wnt signaling agonist CHIR99021 sustains the growth of DKO organoids, and XAV939 does not cause growth retardation of Apc-/- organoids. Consistent with the promoting function of TNKSs in Wnt signaling, Wnt/?-catenin signaling is significantly decreased with stabilized Axin in DKO crypts. Together, our findings unravel the essential role of TNKSs-mediated protein parsylation in small intestinal homeostasis by modulating Wnt/?-catenin signaling.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Notch and Wnt pathways are key regulators of intestinal homeostasis and alterations in these pathways may lead to the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). In CRC the Apc/β-catenin genes in the Wnt signaling pathway are frequently mutated and active Notch signaling contributes to tumorigenesis by keeping the epithelial cells in a proliferative state. These pathways are simultaneously active in proliferative adenoma cells and a crosstalk between them has previously been suggested in normal development as well as in cancer.<h4>Principal findings</h4>In this study, in silico analysis of putative promoters involved in transcriptional regulation of genes coding for proteins in the Notch signaling pathway revealed several putative LEF-1/TCF sites as potential targets for β-catenin and canonical Wnt signaling. Further results from competitive electrophoretic mobility-shift assay (EMSA) studies suggest binding of several putative sites in Notch pathway gene promoters to in vitro translated β-catenin/Lef-1. Wild type (wt)-Apc negatively regulates β-catenin. By induction of wt-Apc or β-catenin silencing in HT29 cells, we observed that several genes in the Notch pathway, including Notch-2, were downregulated. Finally, active Notch signaling was verified in the Apc(Min/+) mouse model where Hes-1 mRNA levels were found significantly upregulated in intestinal tumors compared to normal intestinal mucosa. Luciferase assays showed an increased activity for the core and proximal Notch-2 promoter upon co-transfection of HCT116 cells with high expression recombinant Tcf-4, Lef-1 or β-catenin.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In this paper, we identified Notch-2 as a novel target for β-catenin-dependent Wnt signaling. Furthermore our data supports the notion that additional genes in the Notch pathway might be transcriptionally regulated by Wnt signaling in colorectal cancer.