Emerging evidence indicates that activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling at the cell surface results in inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β), leading to activation of mTORC1 signaling in cancer cells. The low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-6 (LRP6) is an essential Wnt co-receptor for Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Salinomycin is a novel small molecule inhibitor of LRP6. In the present study, we found that LRP6 overexpression induced mTORC1 signaling activation in cancer cells, and that salinomycin was not only a potent Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibitor, but also a strong mTORC1 signaling antagonist in breast and prostate cancer cells. Mechanistically, salinomycin activated GSK3β in cancer cells. Moreover, salinomycin was able to suppress the expression of cyclin D1 and survivin, two targets of both Wnt/β-catenin and mTORC1 signaling, in prostate and breast cancer cells, and displayed remarkable anticancer activity. Our results present novel mechanisms underlying salinomycin-mediated cancer cell death.
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