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J Cell Biochem. 2010 Dec 1;111(5):1077-9. doi: 10.1002/jcb.22771.

WNT unrelated activities in commercially available preparations of recombinant WNT3a.

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Karolinska Institute, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Molecular Neurobiology Unit, Stockholm, Sweden.


WNT signaling pathways play an important role in both development and disease. By analyzing the signaling capabilities of commercially available WNT3a preparations towards the PI3K/AKT/GSK3 signaling pathway, we discovered unexpected inconsistencies from lot to lot of recombinant WNT3a. We provide evidence that: (1) The ability to trigger AKT/GSK3 signaling varies dramatically between different lots of WNT3a, without any variation in their ability to activate the canonical WNT/β-catenin signaling. (2) sFRP1, a WNT signaling inhibitor, is unable to interfere with the activation of AKT/GSK3 signaling induced by some of the WNT3a lots. (3) Pharmacological inhibition of AKT/GSK3 phosphorylation by PI3K inhibitors fails to affect the stabilization of β-catenin, the central effector of the canonical WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway. In summary, while all tested lots of recombinant WNT3a activated WNT/β-catenin pathway, our results suggest that individual lots of recombinant WNT3a activate the PI3K/AKT/GSK3 pathway in a WNT-independent manner, hampering thus the analysis of regulation of PI3K/AKT/GSK3 by WNT ligand.

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