Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2009 Sep 3;4(9):e6892. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006892.

A lentivirus-mediated genetic screen identifies dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) as a modulator of beta-catenin/GSK3 signaling.

Author information

Rosetta Inpharmatics, LLC, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.


The multi-protein beta-catenin destruction complex tightly regulates beta-catenin protein levels by shuttling beta-catenin to the proteasome. Glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3beta), a key serine/threonine kinase in the destruction complex, is responsible for several phosphorylation events that mark beta-catenin for ubiquitination and subsequent degradation. Because modulation of both beta-catenin and GSK3beta activity may have important implications for treating disease, a complete understanding of the mechanisms that regulate the beta-catenin/GSK3beta interaction is warranted. We screened an arrayed lentivirus library expressing small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting 5,201 human druggable genes for silencing events that activate a beta-catenin pathway reporter (BAR) in synergy with 6-bromoindirubin-3'oxime (BIO), a specific inhibitor of GSK3beta. Top screen hits included shRNAs targeting dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), the target of the anti-inflammatory compound methotrexate. Exposure of cells to BIO plus methotrexate resulted in potent synergistic activation of BAR activity, reduction of beta-catenin phosphorylation at GSK3-specific sites, and accumulation of nuclear beta-catenin. Furthermore, the observed synergy correlated with inhibitory phosphorylation of GSK3beta and was neutralized upon inhibition of phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Linking these observations to inflammation, we also observed synergistic inhibition of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNFalpha, IL-6, and IL-12), and increased production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells exposed to GSK3 inhibitors and methotrexate. Our data establish DHFR as a novel modulator of beta-catenin and GSK3 signaling and raise several implications for clinical use of combined methotrexate and GSK3 inhibitors as treatment for inflammatory disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center