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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Interaction of nuclear receptors with the Wnt/beta-catenin/Tcf signaling axis: Wnt you like to know?

The cross-regulation of Wnt/beta-catenin/Tcf ligands, kinases, and transcription factors with members of the nuclear receptor (NR) family has emerged as a clinically and developmentally important area of endocrine cell biology. Interactions between these signaling pathways result in a diverse array of cellular effects including altered cellular adhesion, tissue morphogenesis, and oncogenesis. Analyses of NR interactions with canonical Wnt signaling reveal two broad themes: Wnt/beta-catenin modulation of NRs (theme I), and ligand-dependent NR inhibition of the Wnt/beta-catenin/Tcf cascade (theme II). Beta-catenin, a promiscuous Wnt signaling member, has been studied intensively in relation to the androgen receptor (AR). Beta-catenin acts as a coactivator of AR transcription and is also involved in co-trafficking, increasing cell proliferation, and prostate pathogenesis. T cell factor, a transcriptional mediator of beta-catenin and AR, engages in a dynamic reciprocity of nuclear beta-catenin, p300/CREB binding protein, and transcriptional initiation factor 2/GC receptor-interaction protein, thereby facilitating hormone-dependent coactivation and transrepression. Beta-catenin responds in an equally dynamic manner with other NRs, including the retinoic acid (RA) receptor (RAR), vitamin D receptor (VDR), glucocorticoid receptor (GR), progesterone receptor, thyroid receptor (TR), estrogen receptor (ER), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR). The NR ligands, vitamin D(3), trans/cis RA, glucocorticoids, and thiazolidines, induce dramatic changes in the physiology of cells harboring high Wnt/beta-catenin/Tcf activity. Wnt signaling regulates, directly or indirectly, developmental processes such as ductal branching and adipogenesis, two processes dependent on NR function. Beta-catenin has been intensively studied in colorectal cancer; however, it is now evident that beta-catenin may be important in cancers of the breast, prostate, and thyroid. This review will focus on the cross-regulation of AR and Wnt/beta-catenin/Tcf but will also consider the dynamic manner in which RAR/RXR, GR, TR, VDR, ER, and PPAR modulate canonical Wnt signaling. Although many commonalities exist by which NRs interact with the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway, striking cell line and tissue-specific differences require deciphering and application to endocrine pathology.[1]


  1. Interaction of nuclear receptors with the Wnt/beta-catenin/Tcf signaling axis: Wnt you like to know? Mulholland, D.J., Dedhar, S., Coetzee, G.A., Nelson, C.C. Endocr. Rev. (2005) [Pubmed]
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