Journal of cell communication and signaling

A functional analysis of Wnt inducible signalling pathway protein -1 (WISP-1/CCN4).

PMID 25657057


Wnt-1 inducible signalling pathway protein 1 (WISP-1/CCN4) is an extracellular matrix protein that belongs to the Cyr61 (cysteine-rich protein 61), CTGF (connective tissue growth factor) and NOV (CCN) family and plays a role in multiple cellular processes. No specific WISP-1 receptors have been identified but emerging evidence suggests WISP-1 mediates its downstream effects by binding to integrins. Here we describe a functional analysis of integrin receptor usage by WISP-1. Truncated WISP-1 proteins were produced using a baculovirus expression system. Full length WISP-1 and truncated proteins were evaluated for their ability to induce adhesion in A549 epithelial cells and β-catenin activation and CXCL3 secretion in fibroblasts (NRK49-F cells). Subsequent inhibition of these responses by neutralising integrin antibodies was evaluated. A549 cells demonstrated adhesion to full-length WISP-1 whilst truncated proteins containing VWC, TSP or CT domains also induced adhesion, with highest activity observed with proteins containing the C-terminal TSP and CT domains. Likewise the ability to induce β-catenin activation and CXCL3 secretion was retained in truncations containing C-terminal domains. Pre-treatment of A549s with either integrin αVβ5, αVβ3 or β1 neutralising antibodies partially inhibited full length WISP-1 induced adhesion whilst combining integrin αVβ5 and β1 antibodies increased the potency of this effect. Incubation of NRK49-F cells with integrin neutralising antibodies failed to effect β-catenin translocation or CXCL3 secretion. Analysis of natural WISP-1 derived from human lung tissue showed the native protein is a high order oligomer. Our data suggest that WISP-1 mediated adhesion of A549 cells is an integrin-driven event regulated by the C-terminal domains of the protein. Activation of β-catenin signalling and CXCL3 secretion also resides within the C-terminal domains of WISP-1 but are not regulated by integrins. The oligomeric nature of native WISP-1 may drive a high avidity interaction with these receptors in vivo.