Although Wnt/β-catenin/Tcf signaling pathway has been shown to be an important factor in the development of many malignancies including colorectal, ovarian, prostate, and many other cancers, little is known about its role in non-melanoma skin cancers. Here, we report the first evidence that β-catenin/Tcf signaling pathway is constitutively activated in non-melanocytic skin tumors induced by two stage chemical carcinogenesis protocol. Mouse skin tumors showed cytoplasmic and nuclear accumulation of β-catenin, and upregulation of β-catenin/Tcf target genes (c-myc and c-jun). We found high levels of skin-expressed Wnt proteins (Wnt 3, 4, and 10b) in different parts of the tumors, likely representing key upstream events in β-catenin/Tcf activation during mouse skin carcinogenesis. Inhibition of β-catenin/Tcf signaling by ectopic expression of dominant negative Tcf4 resulted in significant inhibition of growth in squamous cell carcinoma cells. A role of the constitutive activation of β-catenin/Tcf signaling in skin carcinogenesis is discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research