Illegitimate WNT signaling promotes proliferation of multiple myeloma cells

Patrick W.B. Derksen, Esther Tjin, Helen P. Meijer, Melanie D. Klok, Harold D. Mac Gillavry, Marinus H.J. Van Oers, Henk M. Lokhorst, Andries C. Bloem, Hans Clevers, Roel Nusse, Ronald Van Der Neut, Marcel Spaargaren, Steven T. Pals

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review

288 Citaten (Scopus)


The unrestrained growth of tumor cells is generally attributed to mutations in essential growth control genes, but tumor cells are also influenced by signals from the environment. In multiple myeloma (MM), the factors and signals coming from the bone marrow microenvironment are possibly even essential for the growth of the tumor cells. As targets for intervention, these signals may be equally important as mutated oncogenes. Given their oncogenic potential, WNT signals form a class of paracrine growth factors that could act to influence MM cell growth. In this paper, we report that MM cells have hallmarks of active WNT signaling, whereas the cells have not undergone detectable mutations in WNT signaling genes such as adenomatous polyposis coli and β-catenin (CTNNB1). We show that the malignant MM plasma cells overexpress β-catenin, including its N-terminally unphosphorylated form, suggesting active β-catenin/T cell factor-mediated transcription. Further accumulation and nuclear localization of β-catenin, and/or increased cell proliferation, was achieved by stimulation of WNT signaling with either Wnt3a, LiCl, or the constitutively active S33Y mutant of β-catenin. In contrast, by blocking WNT signaling by dominant-negative T cell factor, we can interfere with the growth of MM cells. We therefore suggest that MM cells are dependent on an active WNT signal, which may have important implications for the management of this incurable form of cancer.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)6122-6127
Aantal pagina's6
TijdschriftProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Nummer van het tijdschrift16
StatusGepubliceerd - 20 apr. 2004
Extern gepubliceerdJa


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