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Cancer Res. 2009 Dec 15;69(24):9183-91. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1016.

WNT16B is a new marker of cellular senescence that regulates p53 activity and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT pathway.

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Centre de Recherche Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale/UJF-U823, Institut Albert Bonniot, La Tronche, Grenoble, France.


Senescence is a tumor suppression mechanism that is induced by several stimuli, including oncogenic signaling and telomere shortening, and controlled by the p53/p21(WAF1) signaling pathway. Recently, a critical role for secreted factors has emerged, suggesting that extracellular signals are necessary for the onset and maintenance of senescence. Conversely, factors secreted by senescent cells may promote tumor growth. By using expression profiling techniques, we searched for secreted factors that were overexpressed in fibroblasts undergoing replicative senescence. We identified WNT16B, a member of the WNT family of secreted proteins. We found that WNT16B is overexpressed in cells undergoing stress-induced premature senescence and oncogene-induced senescence in both MRC5 cell line and the in vivo murine model of K-Ras(V12)-induced senescence. By small interfering RNA experiments, we observed that both p53 and WNT16B are necessary for the onset of replicative senescence. WNT16B expression is required for the full transcriptional activation of p21(WAF1). Moreover, WNT16B regulates activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway. Overall, we identified WNT16B as a new marker of senescence that regulates p53 activity and the PI3K/AKT pathway and is necessary for the onset of replicative senescence.

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