Scientific reports

WNT-1 inducible signaling pathway protein-1 enhances growth and tumorigenesis in human breast cancer.

PMID 25732125


WNT1 inducible signaling pathway protein 1 (WISP1) plays a key role in many cellular functions in a highly tissue-specific manner; however the role of WISP1 in breast cancer is still poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that WISP1 acts as an oncogene in human breast cancer. We demonstrated that human breast cancer tissues had higher WISP1 mRNA expression than normal breast tissues and that treatment of recombinant WISP1 enhanced breast cancer cell proliferation. Further, ectopic expression of WISP1 increased the growth of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. WISP1 transfection also induced epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT) in MCF-7 cells, leading to higher migration and invasion. During this EMT-inducing process, E-cadherin was repressed and N-cadherin, snail, and β-catenin were upregulated. Filamentous actin (F-actin) remodeling and polarization were also observed after WISP1 transfection into MCF-7 cells. Moreover, forced overexpression of WISP1 blocked the expression of NDRG1, a breast cancer tumor suppressor gene. Our study provides novel evidence that WISP1-modulated NDRG1 gene expression is dependent on a DNA fragment (-128 to +46) located within the human NDRG1 promoter. Thus, we concluded that WISP1 is a human breast cancer oncogene and is a potential therapeutic target.