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Genes Dev. 2002 Jan 1;16(1):46-57.

WISP-1 attenuates p53-mediated apoptosis in response to DNA damage through activation of the Akt kinase.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cancer Biology, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021-6399, USA.


WISP-1 (Wnt-1-induced secreted protein) was identified as an oncogene regulated by the Wnt-1-beta-catenin pathway. WISP-1 belongs to the CCN family of growth factors, which are cysteine-rich, heparin-binding, secreted proteins associated with the extracellular matrix, and can interact with cellular integrins. Expression of WISP-1 in some cells results in transformation and tumorigenesis. Here it is shown that WISP-1 can activate the antiapoptotic Akt/PKB signaling pathway. It also is demonstrated that WISP-1 can prevent cells from undergoing apoptosis following DNA damage through inhibition of the mitochondrial release of cytochrome c and up-regulation of antiapoptotic Bcl-X(L). Furthermore, the results show that WISP-1 protects cells from p53-dependent cell death, but not Fas-ligand activated cell death, suggesting that there may be cross talk between the tumor suppressor protein p53 and WISP-1 signaling pathways. WISP-1 acts to block cell death at a late stage in the p53-mediated apoptosis pathway.

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