Frizzled-5: a high affinity receptor for secreted frizzled-related protein-2 activation of nuclear factor of activated T-cells c3 signaling to promote angiogenesis.
ABSTRACT: Secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2) is a pro-angiogenic factor expressed in the vasculature of a wide variety of human tumors, and modulates angiogenesis via the calcineurin-dependent nuclear factor of activated T-cells cytoplasmic 3 (NFATc3) pathway in endothelial cells. However, until now, SFRP2 receptor for this pathway was unknown. In the present study, we first used amino acid alignments and molecular modeling to demonstrate that SFRP2 interaction with frizzled-5 (FZD5) is typical of Wnt/FZD family members. To confirm this interaction, we performed co-immunofluorescence, co-immunoprecipitation, and ELISA binding assays, which demonstrated SFRP2/FZD5 binding. Functional knock-down studies further revealed that FZD5 is necessary for SFRP2-induced tube formation and intracellular calcium flux in endothelial cells. Using protein analysis on endothelial cell nuclear extracts, we also discovered that FZD5 is required for SFRP2-induced activation of NFATc3. Our novel findings reveal that FZD5 is a receptor for SFRP2 and mediates SFRP2-induced angiogenesis via calcineurin/NFATc3 pathway in endothelial cells.
Project description:Secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2) is overexpressed in human angiosarcoma and breast cancer and stimulates angiogenesis via activation of the calcineurin/NFATc3 pathway. There are conflicting reports in the literature as to whether SFRP2 is an antagonist or agonist of ?-catenin. The aims of these studies were to assess the effects of SFRP2 antagonism on tumor growth and Wnt-signaling and to evaluate whether SFRP2 is a viable therapeutic target. The antiangiogenic and antitumor properties of SFRP2 monoclonal antibody (mAb) were assessed using in vitro proliferation, migration, tube formation assays, and in vivo angiosarcoma and triple-negative breast cancer models. Wnt-signaling was assessed in endothelial and tumor cells treated with SFRP2 mAb using Western blotting. Pharmacokinetic and biodistribution data were generated in tumor-bearing and nontumor-bearing mice. SFRP2 mAb was shown to induce antitumor and antiangiogenic effects in vitro and inhibit activation of ?-catenin and nuclear factor of activated T-cells c3 (NFATc3) in endothelial and tumor cells. Treatment of SVR angiosarcoma allografts in nude mice with the SFRP2 mAb decreased tumor volume by 58% compared with control (P = 0.004). Treatment of MDA-MB-231 breast carcinoma xenografts with SFRP2 mAb decreased tumor volume by 52% (P = 0.03) compared with control, whereas bevacizumab did not significantly reduce tumor volume. Pharmacokinetic studies show the antibody is long circulating in the blood and preferentially accumulates in SFRP2-positive tumors. In conclusion, antagonizing SFRP2 inhibits activation of ?-catenin and NFATc3 in endothelial and tumor cells and is a novel therapeutic approach for inhibiting angiosarcoma and triple-negative breast cancer.
Project description:Tacrolimus (FK506) is an immunosuppressive drug that binds to the immunophilin FKBPB12. The FK506-FKBP12 complex associates with calcineurin and inhibits its phosphatase activity, resulting in inhibition of nuclear translocation of nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT). There is increasing data supporting a critical role of NFAT in mediating angiogenic responses stimulated by both vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and a novel angiogenesis factor, secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2). Since both VEGF and SFRP2 are expressed in breast carcinomas, we hypothesized that tacrolimus would inhibit breast carcinoma growth. Using IHC (IHC) with antibodies to FKBP12 on breast carcinomas we found that FKBP12 localizes to breast tumor vasculature. Treatment of MMTV-neu transgenic mice with tacrolimus (3 mg/kg i.p. daily) (n?=?19) resulted in a 73% reduction in the growth rate for tacrolimus treated mice compared to control (n?=?15), p?=?0.003; which was associated with an 82% reduction in tumor microvascular density (p<0.001) by IHC. Tacrolimus (1 µM) inhibited SFRP2 induced endothelial tube formation by 71% (p?=?0.005) and inhibited VEGF induced endothelial tube formation by 67% (p?=?0.004). To show that NFATc3 is required for SFRP2 stimulated angiogenesis, NFATc3 was silenced with shRNA in endothelial cells. Sham transfected cells responded to SFRP2 stimulation in a tube formation assay with an increase in the number of branch points (p<0.003), however, cells transfected with shRNA to NFATc3 showed no increase in tube formation in response to SFRP2. This demonstrates that NFATc3 is required for SFRP2 induced tube formation, and tacrolimus inhibits angiogenesis in vitro and breast carcinoma growth in vivo. This provides a rationale for examining the therapeutic potential of tacrolimus at inhibiting breast carcinoma growth in humans.
Project description:Frizzled (FZD) receptors mediate Wnt signaling in diverse processes ranging from bone growth to stem cell activity. Moreover, high FZD receptor expression at the cell surface contributes to overactive Wnt signaling in subsets of pancreatic, ovarian, gastric, and colorectal tumors. Despite the progress in biochemical understanding of Wnt-FZD receptor interactions, the molecular basis for recognition of Wnt cis-unsaturated fatty acyl groups by the cysteine-rich domain (CRD) of FZD receptors remains elusive. Here, we determined a crystal structure of human FZD7 CRD unexpectedly bound to a 24-carbon fatty acid. We also report a crystal structure of human FZD5 CRD bound to C16:1 cis-?9 unsaturated fatty acid. Both structures reveal a dimeric arrangement of the CRD. The lipid-binding groove exhibits flexibility and spans both monomers, adopting a U-shaped geometry that accommodates the fatty acid. Re-evaluation of the published mouse FZD8 CRD structure reveals that it also shares the same architecture as FZD5 and FZD7 CRDs. Our results define a common molecular mechanism for recognition of the cis-unsaturated fatty acyl group, a necessary posttranslational modification of Wnts, by multiple FZD receptors. The fatty acid bridges two CRD monomers, implying that Wnt binding mediates FZD receptor dimerization. Our data uncover possibilities for the arrangement of Wnt-FZD CRD complexes and shed structural insights that could aide in the identification of pharmacological strategies to modulate FZD receptor function.
Project description:Modulation of Wnt signaling has untapped potential in regenerative medicine due to its essential functions in stem cell homeostasis. However, Wnt lipidation and Wnt-Frizzled (Fzd) cross-reactivity have hindered translational Wnt applications. Here, we designed and engineered water-soluble, Fzd subtype-specific "next-generation surrogate" (NGS) Wnts that hetero-dimerize Fzd and Lrp6. NGS Wnt supports long-term expansion of multiple different types of organoids, including kidney, colon, hepatocyte, ovarian, and breast. NGS Wnts are superior to Wnt3a conditioned media in organoid expansion and single-cell organoid outgrowth. Administration of Fzd subtype-specific NGS Wnt in vivo reveals that adult intestinal crypt proliferation can be promoted by agonism of Fzd5 and/or Fzd8 receptors, while a broad spectrum of Fzd receptors can induce liver zonation. Thus, NGS Wnts offer a unified organoid expansion protocol and a laboratory "tool kit" for dissecting the functions of Fzd subtypes in stem cell biology.
Project description:Recent studies revealed that the Wnt receptor Frizzled-5 (Fzd5) is required for eye and retina development in zebrafish and Xenopus, however, its role during mammalian eye development is unknown. In the mouse embryo, Fzd5 is prominently expressed in the pituitary, distal optic vesicle, and optic stalk, then later in the progenitor zone of the developing retina. To elucidate the role of Fzd5 during eye development, we analyzed embryos with a germline disruption of the Fzd5 gene at E10.25, just before embryos die due to defects in yolk sac angiogenesis. We observed severe defects in optic cup morphogenesis and lens development. However, in embryos with conditional inactivation of Fzd5 using Six3-Cre, we observed no obvious early eye defects. Analysis of Axin2 mRNA expression and TCF/LEF-responsive reporter activation demonstrate that Fzd5 does not regulate the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway in the eye. Thus, the function of Fzd5 during eye development appears to be species-dependent.
Project description:Misregulation of Wnt signaling is common in human cancer. The development of small molecule inhibitors against the Wnt receptor, frizzled (FZD), may have potential in cancer therapy. During small molecule screens, we observed binding of carbamazepine to the cysteine-rich domain (CRD) of the Wnt receptor FZD8 using surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Cellular functional assays demonstrated that carbamazepine can suppress FZD8-mediated Wnt/?-catenin signaling. We determined the crystal structure of the complex at 1.7 Å resolution, which reveals that carbamazepine binds at a novel pocket on the FZD8 CRD. The unique residue Tyr52 discriminates FZD8 from the closely related FZD5 and other FZDs for carbamazepine binding. The first small molecule-bound FZD structure provides a basis for anti-FZD drug development. Furthermore, the observed carbamazepine-mediated Wnt signaling inhibition may help to explain the phenomenon of bone loss and increased adipogenesis in some patients during long-term carbamazepine treatment.
Project description:Secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2) promotes the migration/invasion of metastatic osteosarcoma (OS) cells and tube formation by endothelial cells. However, its function on T-cells is unknown. We hypothesized that blocking SFRP2 with a humanized monoclonal antibody (hSFRP2 mAb) can restore immunity by reducing CD38 and PD-1 levels, ultimately overcoming resistance to PD-1 inhibitors. Treating two metastatic murine OS cell lines in vivo, RF420 and RF577, with hSFRP2 mAb alone led to a significant reduction in the number of lung metastases, compared to IgG1 control treatment. While PD-1 mAb alone had minimal effect, hSFRP2 mAb combination with PD-1 mAb had an additive antimetastatic effect. This effect was accompanied by lower SFRP2 levels in serum, lower CD38 levels in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and T-cells, and lower PD-1 levels in T-cells. In vitro data confirmed that SFRP2 promotes NFATc3, CD38 and PD-1 expression in T-cells, while hSFRP2 mAb treatment counteracts these effects and increases NAD<sup>+</sup> levels. hSFRP2 mAb treatment further rescued the suppression of T-cell proliferation by tumor cells in a co-culture model. Finally, hSFRP2 mAb induced apoptosis in RF420 and RF577 OS cells but not in T-cells. Thus, hSFRP2 mAb therapy could potentially overcome PD-1 inhibitor resistance in metastatic osteosarcoma.
Project description:Chorioallantoic branching morphogenesis is a key milestone during placental development, creating the large surface area for nutrient and gas exchange, and is therefore critical for the success of term pregnancy. Several Wnt pathway molecules have been shown to regulate placental development. However, it remains largely unknown how Wnt-Frizzled (Fzd) signaling spatiotemporally interacts with other essential regulators, ensuring chorionic branching morphogenesis and angiogenesis during placental development. Employing global and trophoblast-specific Fzd5-null and Gcm1-deficient mouse models, combining trophoblast stem cell lines and tetraploid aggregation assay, we demonstrate here that an amplifying signaling loop between Gcm1 and Fzd5 is essential for normal initiation of branching in the chorionic plate. While Gcm1 upregulates Fzd5 specifically at sites where branching initiates in the basal chorion, this elevated Fzd5 expression via nuclear ?-catenin signaling in turn maintains expression of Gcm1. Moreover, we show that Fzd5-mediated signaling induces the disassociation of cell junctions for branching initiation via downregulating ZO-1, claudin 4, and claudin 7 expressions in trophoblast cells at the base of the chorion. In addition, Fzd5-mediated signaling is also important for upregulation of Vegf expression in chorion trophoblast cells. Finally, we demonstrate that Fzd5-Gcm1 signaling cascade is operative during human trophoblast differentiation. These data indicate that Gcm1 and Fzd5 function in an evolutionary conserved positive feedback loop that regulates trophoblast differentiation and sites of chorionic branching morphogenesis.
Project description:The Wnt signaling pathway plays important roles during different stages of neuronal development, including neuronal polarization and dendritic and axonal outgrowth. However, little is known about the identity of the Frizzled receptors mediating these processes. In the present study, we investigated the role of Frizzled-5 (Fzd5) on neuronal development in cultured Sprague-Dawley rat hippocampal neurons. We found that Fzd5 is expressed early in cultured neurons on actin-rich structures localized at minor neurites and axonal growth cones. At 4 DIV, Fzd5 polarizes towards the axon, where its expression is detected mainly at the peripheral zone of axonal growth cones, with no obvious staining at dendrites; suggesting a role of Fzd5 in neuronal polarization. Overexpression of Fzd5 during the acquisition of neuronal polarity induces mislocalization of the receptor and a loss of polarized axonal markers. Fzd5 knock-down leads to loss of axonal proteins, suggesting an impaired neuronal polarity. In contrast, overexpression of Fzd5 in neurons that are already polarized did not alter polarity, but decreased the total length of axons and increased total dendrite length and arborization. Fzd5 activated JNK in HEK293 cells and the effects triggered by Fzd5 overexpression in neurons were partially prevented by inhibition of JNK, suggesting that a non-canonical Wnt signaling mechanism might be involved. Our results suggest that, Fzd5 has a role in the establishment of neuronal polarity, and in the morphogenesis of neuronal processes, in part through the activation of the non-canonical Wnt mechanism involving JNK.
Project description:The goal of this study was to assess the ability of iloprost, an orally active prostacyclin analog, to inhibit transformed growth of human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and to define the mechanism of iloprost's tumor suppressive effects. In a panel of NSCLC cell lines, the ability of iloprost to inhibit transformed cell growth was not correlated with the expression of the cell surface receptor for prostacyclin, but instead was correlated with the presence of Frizzled 9 (Fzd 9) and the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma). Silencing of Fzd 9 blocked PPARgamma activation by iloprost, and expression of Fzd 9 in cells lacking the protein resulted in iloprost's activation of PPARgamma and inhibition of transformed growth. Interestingly, soluble Frizzled-related protein-1, a well-known inhibitor of Wnt/Fzd signaling, also blocked the effects of iloprost and Fzd 9. Moreover, mice treated with iloprost had reduced lung tumors and increased Fzd 9 expression. These studies define a novel paradigm, linking the eicosanoid pathway and Wnt signaling. In addition, these data also suggest that prostacyclin analogs may represent a new class of therapeutic agents in the treatment of NSCLC where the restoration of noncanonical Wnt signaling maybe important for the inhibition of transformed cell growth.