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Cancer Manag Res. 2019 Apr 10;11:2803-2815. doi: 10.2147/CMAR.S190999. eCollection 2019.

Wnt5a induces ROR1 and ROR2 to activate RhoA in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells.

Wu X1, Yan T2, Hao L3, Zhu Y3,4.

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The Second Hospital of Nanjing, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210003, People's Republic of China.
Safety Assessment and Research Center for Drug, Pesticide and Veterinary Drug of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 211166, People's Republic of China.
Department of Physiology, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 211166, People's Republic of China.
State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 211166, People's Republic of China.


Background: Wnt5a is a nontransforming Wnt family member and identified as an oncogenic role on cell motility of breast cancer and glioblastoma. However, Wnt5a signaling in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) progression remains poorly defined. Materials and methods: Immunohistochemistry assays were used to measure the Wnt5a expression in ESCC sections. We evaluated the role of receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor (ROR)1/2 and RhoA on the invasion of ESCC cells by using cell invasion assay, immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence, and Rho activation assay. Results: Wnt5a was highly expressed in invasive ESCC tissues compared with that in noninvasive and nonmalignant tissues. In vitro assay showed that sfrp2 (Wnt5a antagonist) largely blocked the invasion but not the colony formation of KYSE410 and KYSE520 ESCC cells. Anti-ROR1 mAb and ROR2-shRNA markedly inhibited the disheveled-associated activator of morphogenesis 1 (DAAM1) activity, RhoA activity, microfilament formation and the invasion of ESCC cells. Fluorescent phalloidin staining experiment showed ROR1/ROR2, receptors of Wnt5a signaling, and regulated the reassembly of actin filaments in ESCC cells. Further experiments showed that ROR1 was strongly associated with ROR2 in KYSE410 cells. The activation of RhoA, not Rac1 or Rac2, was involved in ROR1/ROR2 signaling pathway. By using DAAM1 shRNA, we found that RhoA was downstream of DAAM1, which could be rescued by the overexpression of wild-type DAAM1. This could be further proved by a RhoA inhibitor CCG-1423 which could inhibit the invasion of ESCC cells but not DAAM1 activity. Conclusions: Wnt5a promotes ESCC cell invasion via ROR1 and ROR2 receptors and DAAM1/RhoA signaling pathway.


DAAM1; ESCC; ROR; Wnt5a; invasion

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