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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Feb 12;392(3):373-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.01.028. Epub 2010 Jan 13.

Wnt/beta-catenin signaling regulates cancer stem cells in lung cancer A549 cells.

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Department of Chemotherapy, Cancer Center, Shandong University, Jinan 250012, China.


Wnt/beta-catenin signaling plays an important role not only in cancer, but also in cancer stem cells. In this study, we found that beta-catenin and OCT-4 was highly expressed in cisplatin (DDP) selected A549 cells. Stimulating A549 cells with lithium chloride (LiCl) resulted in accumulation of beta-catenin and up-regulation of a typical Wnt target gene cyclin D1. This stimulation also significantly enhanced proliferation, clone formation, migration and drug resistance abilities in A549 cells. Moreover, the up-regulation of OCT-4, a stem cell marker, was observed through real-time PCR and Western blotting. In a reverse approach, we inhibited Wnt signaling by knocking down the expression of beta-catenin using RNA interference technology. This inhibition resulted in down-regulation of the Wnt target gene cyclin D1 as well as the proliferation, clone formation, migration and drug resistance abilities. Meanwhile, the expression of OCT-4 was reduced after the inhibition of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. Taken together, our study provides strong evidence that canonical Wnt signaling plays an important role in lung cancer stem cell properties, and it also regulates OCT-4, a lung cancer stem cell marker.

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