WNT7B promotes bone formation in part through mTORC1.
ABSTRACT: WNT signaling has been implicated in both embryonic and postnatal bone formation. However, the pertinent WNT ligands and their downstream signaling mechanisms are not well understood. To investigate the osteogenic capacity of WNT7B and WNT5A, both normally expressed in the developing bone, we engineered mouse strains to express either protein in a Cre-dependent manner. Targeted induction of WNT7B, but not WNT5A, in the osteoblast lineage dramatically enhanced bone mass due to increased osteoblast number and activity; this phenotype began in the late-stage embryo and intensified postnatally. Similarly, postnatal induction of WNT7B in Runx2-lineage cells greatly stimulated bone formation. WNT7B activated mTORC1 through PI3K-AKT signaling. Genetic disruption of mTORC1 signaling by deleting Raptor in the osteoblast lineage alleviated the WNT7B-induced high-bone-mass phenotype. Thus, WNT7B promotes bone formation in part through mTORC1 activation.
Project description:Wnt regulates bone formation through ?-catenin-dependent canonical and -independent noncanonical signaling pathways. However, the cooperation that exists between the two signaling pathways during osteoblastogenesis remains to be elucidated. Here, we showed that the lack of Wnt5a in osteoblast-lineage cells impaired Wnt/?-catenin signaling due to the reduced expression of Lrp5 and Lrp6. Pretreatment of ST2 cells, a stromal cell line, with Wnt5a enhanced canonical Wnt ligand-induced Tcf/Lef transcription activity. Short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of Wnt5a, but not treatment with Dkk1, an antagonist of Wnt/?-catenin signaling, reduced the expression of Lrp5 and Lrp6 in osteoblast-lineage cells under osteogenic culture conditions. Osteoblast-lineage cells from Wnt5a-deficient mice exhibited reduced Wnt/?-catenin signaling, which impaired osteoblast differentiation and enhanced adipocyte differentiation. Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of Lrp5 into Wnt5a-deficient osteoblast-lineage cells rescued their phenotypic features. Therefore, Wnt5a-induced noncanonical signaling cooperates with Wnt/?-catenin signaling to achieve proper bone formation.
Project description:The hair follicle (HF) is an exceptional mini-organ to study the mechanisms which regulate HF morphogenesis, cycling, hair follicle stem cell (hfSCs) homeostasis, and progeny differentiation. During morphogenesis, Wnt signaling is well-characterized in the initiation of HF patterning but less is known about which particular Wnt ligands are required and whether individual Wnt ligands act in an indispensable or redundant manner during postnatal hfSCs anagen onset and HF cycle progression. Previously, we described the function of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling target gene WNT7a in intrinsic regulation of hfSCs homeostasis in vivo. Here, we investigated the role of Wnt7b, which was also intrinsically upregulated in hfSCs during physiological and precocious anagen after BMP inhibition in vivo. We demonstrated Wnt7b to be a direct target of canonical BMP signaling in hfSCs and using Wnt7b conditional gene targeting during HF morphogenesis revealed disrupted HF cycling including a shorter anagen, premature catagen onset with overall shorter hair production, and diminished HF differentiation marker expression. Additionally, we observed that postnatal ablation of Wnt7b resulted in delayed HF activation, affecting both the hair germ and bulge hfSCs but still maintaining a two-step sequence of HF stimulation. Interestingly, Wnt7b cKO hfSCs participated in reformation of the new HF bulge, but with slower self-renewal. These findings demonstrate the importance of intrinsic Wnt7b expression in hfSCs regulation and normal HF cycling and surprisingly reveal a nonredundant role for Wnt7b in the control of HF anagen length and catagen entry which was not compensated by other Wnt ligands.
Project description:Osteosarcoma (OS) accounts for 9 percent of cancer-related deaths in young people. The PI3K/Akt signaling, a well-known carcinogenic signaling pathway in human cancer, cooperates with other signaling pathways such as Wnt signaling to promote cancer progression. Wnt7b, as a transforming member of the Wnt family, could activate mTORC1 through PI3K-AKT signaling and is upregulated in OS. In the present study, we found that miR-342-5p inhibits Wnt7b expression via direct binding to Wnt7b 3'-UTR. miR-342-5p overexpression remarkably suppressed the viability and invasion while enhanced the apoptosis of OS cells; meanwhile, Wnt7b, ?-catenin, c-myc, and cyclin D1 proteins were reduced while E-cadherin protein showed to be increased. Consistent with its expression pattern, Wnt7b exerted oncogenic effects on OS cells. Wnt7b could significantly attenuate the impacts of miR-342-5p. In conclusion, we demonstrated a miR-342-5p/Wnt7b axis that regulates the capacity of OS cells to proliferate and to invade through Wnt/?-catenin signaling. The miR-342-5p/Wnt7b axis might be novel targets for OS targeted therapy, which needs further in vivo and clinical investigations.
Project description:Multiple regulatory mechanisms control osteoblast differentiation and function to ensure unperturbed skeletal formation and remodeling. In this study we identify histone lysine-specific demethylase 1(LSD1/KDM1A) as a key epigenetic regulator of osteoblast differentiation. Knockdown of LSD1 promoted osteoblast differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in vitro and mice lacking LSD1 in mesenchymal cells displayed increased bone mass secondary to accelerated osteoblast differentiation. Mechanistic in vitro studies revealed that LSD1 epigenetically regulates the expression of WNT7B and BMP2. LSD1 deficiency resulted in increased BMP2 and WNT7B expression in osteoblasts and enhanced bone formation, while downregulation of WNT7B- and BMP2-related signaling using genetic mouse model or small-molecule inhibitors attenuated bone phenotype in vivo. Furthermore, the LSD1 inhibitor tranylcypromine (TCP) could increase bone mass in mice. These data identify LSD1 as a novel regulator of osteoblast activity and suggest LSD1 inhibition as a potential therapeutic target for treatment of osteoporosis.
Project description:Indian hedgehog (Ihh) is an essential signal that regulates endochondral bone development. We have previously shown that Wnt7b promotes osteoblast differentiation during mouse embryogenesis, and that its expression in the perichondrium is dependent on Ihh signaling. To test the hypothesis that Wnt7b may mediate some aspects of Ihh function during endochondral bone development, we activated Wnt7b expression from the R26-Wnt7b allele with Col2-Cre in the Ihh(-/-) mouse. Artificial expression of Wnt7b rescued vascularization of the hypertrophic cartilage in the Ihh(-/-) mouse, but failed to restore orthotopic osteoblast differentiation in the perichondrium. Similarly, Wnt7b did not recover Ihh-dependent perichondral bone formation in the Ihh(-/-); Gli3(-/-) embryo. Interestingly, Wnt7b induced bone formation at the diaphyseal region of long bones in the absence of Ihh, possibly due to increased vascularization in the area. Thus, Ihh-dependent expression of Wnt7b in the perichondrium may contribute to vascularization of the hypertrophic cartilage during endochondral bone development.
Project description:Advanced prostate cancer is characterized by incurable castration-resistant progression and osteoblastic bone metastasis. While androgen deprivation therapy remains the primary treatment for advanced prostate cancer, resistance inevitably develops. Importantly, mounting evidence indicates that androgen receptor (AR) signaling continues to play a critical role in the growth of advanced prostate cancer despite androgen deprivation. While the mechanisms of aberrant AR activation in advanced prostate cancer have been extensively studied, the downstream AR target genes involved in the progression of castration resistance are largely unknown. Here, we identify WNT7B as a direct AR target gene highly expressed in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cells. Our results show that expression of WNT7B is necessary for the growth of prostate cancer cells and that this effect is enhanced under androgen-deprived conditions. Further analyses reveal that WNT7B promotes androgen-independent growth of CRPC cells likely through the activation of protein kinase C isozymes. Our results also show that prostate cancer-produced WNT7B induces osteoblast differentiation in vitro through a direct cell-cell interaction, and that WNT7B is upregulated in human prostate cancer xenografts that cause an osteoblastic reaction when grown in bone. Taken together, these results suggest that AR-regulated WNT7B signaling is critical for the growth of CRPC and development of the osteoblastic bone response characteristic of advanced prostate cancer.
Project description:Prostate cancer (PCa) is frequently accompanied by osteosclerotic (i.e., excessive bone production) bone metastases. Although bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) and Wnts are mediators of PCa-induced osteoblastic activity, the relation between them in PCa bone metastases is unknown. The goal of this study was to define this relationship. Wnt3a and Wnt5a administration or knockdown of DKK-1, a Wnt inhibitor, induced BMP-4 and 6 expression and promoter activation in PCa cells. DKK-1 blocked Wnt activation of the BMP promoters. Transfection of C4-2B cells with axin, an inhibitor of canonical Wnt signaling, blocked Wnt3a but not Wnt5a induction of the BMP promoters. In contrast, Jnk inhibitor I blocked Wnt5a but not Wnt3a induction of the BMP promoters. Wnt3a, Wnt5a, and conditioned medium (CM) from C4-2B or LuCaP23.1 cells induced osteoblast differentiation in vitro. The addition of DKK-1 and Noggin, a BMP inhibitor, to CM diminished PCa CM-induced osteoblast differentiation in a synergistic fashion. However, pretreatment of PCa cells with DKK-1 before collecting CM blocked osteoblast differentiation, whereas pretreatment with Noggin only partially reduced osteoblast differentiation, and pretreatment with both DKK-1 and Noggin had no greater effect than pretreatment with DKK-1 alone. Additionally, knockdown of BMP expression in C4-2B cells inhibited Wnt-induced osteoblastic activity. These results show that PCa promotes osteoblast differentiation through canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling pathways that stimulate both BMP-dependent and BMP-independent osteoblast differentiation. These results show a clear link between Wnts and BMPs in PCa-induced osteoblast differentiation and provide novel targets, including the noncanonical Wnt pathway, for therapy of PCa.
Project description:Iron overload due to hemochromatosis or chronic blood transfusions has been associated with the development of osteoporosis. However, the impact of changes in iron homeostasis on osteoblast functions and the underlying mechanisms are poorly defined. Since Wnt signaling is a critical regulator of bone remodeling, we aimed to analyze the effects of iron overload and iron deficiency on osteoblast function, and further define the role of Wnt signaling in these processes. Therefore, bone marrow stromal cells were isolated from wild-type mice and differentiated towards osteoblasts. Exposure of the cells to iron dose-dependently attenuated osteoblast differentiation in terms of mineralization and osteogenic gene expression, whereas iron chelation with deferoxamine promoted osteogenic differentiation in a time- and dose-dependent manner up to 3-fold. Similar results were obtained for human bone marrow stromal cells. To elucidate whether the pro-osteogenic effect of deferoxamine is mediated via Wnt signaling, we performed a Wnt profiler array of deferoxamine-treated osteoblasts. Wnt5a was amongst the most highly induced genes. Further analysis revealed a time- and dose-dependent induction of Wnt5a being up-regulated 2-fold after 48 h at 50 ?M deferoxamine. Pathway analysis using specific inhibitors revealed that deferoxamine utilized the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and nuclear factor of activated T cell pathways to induce Wnt5a expression. Finally, we confirmed the requirement of Wnt5a in the deferoxamine-mediated osteoblast-promoting effects by analyzing the matrix mineralization of Wnt5a-deficient cells. The promoting effect of deferoxamine on matrix mineralization in wild-type cells was completely abolished in Wnt5a-/- cells. Thus, these data demonstrate that Wnt5a is critical for the pro-osteogenic effects of iron chelation using deferoxamine.
Project description:The WNTs are secreted proteins that control essential developmental processes, such as embryonic patterning, cell growth, migration, and differentiation. In mice, three members of the Wnt gene family (Wnt4, Wnt5a, and Wnt7a) have been studied extensively in the female reproductive tract. The present study determined effects of postnatal day and exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) on Wnt and Fzd gene expression in the mouse uterus as well as the biological role of Wnt11 in postnatal mouse uterine development and function. Wnt4, Wnt5a, Wnt7a, Wnt7b, Wnt11, Wnt16, Fzd6, and Fzd10 were detected by in situ hybridization in the neonatal mouse uterus. In situ hybridization analyses revealed that Wnt4, Wnt5a, and Wnt16 were localized in the endometrial stroma, whereas Wnt7a, Wnt7b, Wnt11, Fzd6, and Fzd10 were in the uterine epithelia of neonatal mice. Exposure of mice to estrogen or estrogen receptor agonists during critical development periods inhibits endometrial adenogenesis. In the present study, DES-induced disruption of endometrial gland development was associated with reduction or suppression of Wnt4, Wnt5a, Wnt7a, Wnt11, Wnt16, and Fzd10. Ablation of Wnt11, an epithelial-expressed, DES-regulated gene, in the neonatal uterus did not affect endometrial adenogenesis or expression of other Wnt genes. Interestingly, Wnt11-deleted uteri had more endometrial glands on Postnatal Day 10. Although CTNNB1 expression was not affected by ablation of Wnt11, Vangl2 was inhibited in the uteri of Wnt11(d/d) mice. These results support the idea that a number of different Wnt genes are potential regulators for uterine morphogenesis; however, Wnt11 does not have a direct effect on uterine development.
Project description:The renal vasculature is integral to the physiologic function of the kidneys in regulating hemodynamics of the body and maintaining organ health. The close inter-relationship of capillaries and the renal epithelium is key to renal physiology, but how renal tubules regulate capillary development remains unclear. Our previous work showed that Wnt7b is expressed in the ureteric trunk epithelium and activates canonical Wnt signaling in the surrounding medullary interstitium, where the capillaries reside. In this study, we showed by immunofluorescence that the target interstitial cells of Wnt7b/canonical Wnt signaling are mural cells of periureteric bud capillaries in the nascent renal medulla of embryonic mice. Genetic ablation of Wnt7b enhanced the proliferation of Wnt7b target mural cells, an effect that associated with decreased expression of PDGFR? and p57kip2, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, in these cells. Furthermore, Wnt7b regulated lumen formation of the capillary endothelium in the renal medulla. In the absence of Wnt7b signaling, the periureteric bud medullary capillaries displayed narrower lumens lined with less flattened endothelial cells and a significantly increased presence of luminal endothelial cell-cell junctions, a transient configuration in the forming blood vessels in the controls. Moreover, the absence of Wnt7b led to greatly diminished levels of vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin at the cell surface in these blood vessels. VE-cadherin is essential for blood vessel lumen formation; thus, Wnt7b may regulate lumen formation through modulation of VE-cadherin localization. Overall, these results indicate a novel role of Wnt7b signaling and the ureteric bud epithelium in renal medullary capillary development.