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J Cell Commun Signal. 2007 Dec;1(3-4):175-83. doi: 10.1007/s12079-007-0015-x. Epub 2008 Jan 20.

The gene expression profile induced by Wnt 3a in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts.

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CIHR Group in Skeletal Development and Remodeling, Division of Oral Biology and Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, Dental Sciences Building, London, ON, Canada, N6A 5C1.


Wnt proteins play important roles in regulating cell differentiation, proliferation and polarity. Wnts have been proposed to play roles in tissue repair and fibrosis, yet the gene expression profile of fibroblasts exposed to Wnts has not been examined. We use Affymetrix genome-wide expression profiling to show that a 6-h treatment of fibroblasts of Wnt3a results in the induction of mRNAs encoding known Wnt targets such as the fibrogenic pro-adhesive molecule connective tissue growth factor (CTGF, CCN2). Wnt3a also induces mRNAs encoding potent pro-fibrotic proteins such as TGFbeta and endothelin-1 (ET-1). Moreover, Wnt3a promotes genes associated with cell adhesion and migration, vasculature development, cell proliferation and Wnt signaling. Conversely, Wnt3a suppresses gene associated with skeletal development, matrix degradation and cell death. Results were confirmed using real-time polymerase chain reaction of cells exposed to Wnt3a and Wnt10b. These results suggest that Wnts induce genes promoting fibroblast differentiation towards angiogenesis and matrix remodeling, at the expense of skeletal development.

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