Frizzled homolog proteins, microRNAs and Wnt signaling in cancer

Authors

  • Koji Ueno,

    1. Department of Urology, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
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  • Hiroshi Hirata,

    1. Department of Urology, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
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  • Yuji Hinoda,

    1. Department of Oncology and Laboratory Medicine, Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine, Yamaguchi, Japan
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  • Rajvir Dahiya

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Urology, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
    • Professor and Director, Urology Research Center (112F), Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of California at San Francisco, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
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    • Tel.: +415-750-6964, Fax: +415-750-6639


Abstract

Wnt signaling pathways play important roles in tumorigenesis and are initiated by binding of Wnt to various receptors including frizzleds (FZDs). FZDs are one of several families of receptors comprised of FZD/LRP/ROR2/RYK in the Wnt signaling pathway. Expression of some FZD receptors are up regulated, thereby activating the Wnt signaling pathway and is correlated with cancer malignancy and patient outcomes (recurrence and survival) in many cancers. The FZD family contains ten genes in humans and their function has not been completely examined including the regulatory mechanisms of FZD genes in cancer. Knockdown of FZDs may suppress the Wnt signaling pathway resulting in decreased cell growth, invasion, motility and metastasis of cancer cells. Recently a number of microRNAs (miRNAs) have been identified and reported to be important in several cancers. MiRNAs regulate target gene expression at both the transcription and translation levels. The study of miRNA is a newly emerging field and promises to be helpful in understanding the pathogenesis of FZDs in cancer. In addition, miRNAs may be useful in regulating FZDs in cancer cells. Therefore, the aim of this review is to discuss current knowledge of the functional mechanisms of FZDs in cancer, including regulation by miRNAs and the potential for possible use of miRNAs and FZDs in future clinical applications.

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