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Clin Cancer Res. 2007 Oct 15;13(20):6087-92.

Synchronous alterations of Wnt and epidermal growth factor receptor signaling pathways through aberrant methylation and mutation in non small cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.



The Wnt and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathways play crucial roles in the pathogenesis of a variety of malignant tumors. Although the details of each cascade are understood, very little is known about their collective effects in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


A total of 238 NSCLC samples were examined for methylation of Wnt antagonists [secreted frizzled-related protein (sFRP)-1, sFRP-2, sFRP-5, Wnt inhibitory factor-1, and Dickkopf-3] and for EGFR and KRAS mutations. Protein expression levels of beta-catenin were assayed in 91 of the 238 NSCLCs.


We found that (a) aberrant methylation of Wnt antagonists is common in NSCLCs; (b) methylation of sFRP-2 is more prevalent in females, nonsmokers, and adenocarcinoma cases; (c) Dickkopf-3 methylation is significantly associated with a poor prognosis in adenocarcinomas; (d) there is a positive correlation between activated EGFR mutation and nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin; (e) KRAS mutation and aberrant methylation of Wnt antagonists are positively correlated; and (f) EGFR mutation is significantly associated with a good prognosis in tumors lacking methylated Wnt antagonist genes.


These results contribute to a better understanding of the cross-talk between the Wnt and EGFR signaling pathways and help foster development of chemotherapeutic treatments in NSCLCs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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