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Cell Discov January 5, 2016; 2 15039.
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A novel role for the tumour suppressor Nitrilase1 modulating the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway.

Mittag S , Valenta T , Weiske J , Bloch L , Klingel S , Gradl D , Wetzel F , Chen Y , Petersen I , Basler K , Huber O .

Nitrilase1 was classified as a tumour suppressor in association with the fragile histidine-triad protein Fhit. However, knowledge about nitrilase1 and its tumour suppressor function is still limited. Whereas nitrilase1 and Fhit are discrete proteins in mammals, they are merged in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. According to the Rosetta-Stone hypothesis, proteins encoded as fusion proteins in one organism and as separate proteins in another organism may act in the same signalling pathway. Although a direct interaction of human nitrilase1 and Fhit has not been shown, our previous finding that Fhit interacts with β-catenin and represses its transcriptional activity in the canonical Wnt pathway suggested that human nitrilase1 also modulates Wnt signalling. In fact, human nitrilase1 forms a complex with β-catenin and LEF-1/TCF-4, represses β-catenin-mediated transcription and shows an additive effect together with Fhit. Knockdown of human nitrilase1 enhances Wnt target gene expression. Moreover, our experiments show that β-catenin competes away human nitrilase1 from LEF-1/TCF and thereby contributes to the activation of Wnt-target gene transcription. Inhibitory activity of human nitrilase1 on vertebrate Wnt signalling was confirmed by repression of Wnt-induced double axis formation in Xenopus embryogenesis. In line with this finding, the Drosophila fusion protein Drosophila NitFhit directly binds to Armadillo and represses the Wingless pathway in reporter gene assays. Genetic experiments confirmed the repressive activity of Drosophila NitFhit on Wingless signalling in the Drosophila wing imaginal disc. In addition, colorectal tumour microarray analysis revealed a significantly reduced expression of human nitrilase1 in poorly differentiated tumours. Taken together, repression of the canonical Wnt pathway represents a new mechanism for the human nitrilase1 tumour suppressor function.

PubMed ID: 27462437
PMC ID: PMC4860965
Article link: Cell Discov

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: ctnnb1 fhit lgals4.2 mbp myc sia1 sp5 wnt1 wnt3a wnt8a

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References [+] :
Aberle, Assembly of the cadherin-catenin complex in vitro with recombinant proteins. 1995, Pubmed