Targets of Wnt/beta-Catenin Transcription in Penile Carcinoma

Manit Arya, Christopher Thrasivoulou, Rui Henrique, Michael Millar, Ruth Hamblin, Reena Davda, Kristina Aare, John R. Masters, Calum Thomson, Asif Muneer, Hitendra R. H. Patel, Aamir Ahmed

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Penile squamous cell carcinoma (PeCa) is a rare malignancy and little is known regarding the molecular mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis of PeCa. The Wnt signaling pathway, with the transcription activator ß-catenin as a major transducer, is a key cellular pathway during development and in disease, particularly cancer. We have used PeCa tissue arrays and multi-fluorophore labelled, quantitative, immunohistochemistry to interrogate the expression of WNT4, a Wnt ligand, and three targets of Wnt-ß-catenin transcription activation, namely, MMP7, cyclinD1 (CD1) and c-MYC in 141 penile tissue cores from 101 unique samples. The expression of all Wnt signaling proteins tested was increased by 1.6 to 3 fold in PeCa samples compared to control tissue (normal or cancer adjacent) samples (p<0.01). Expression of all proteins, except CD1, showed a significant decrease in grade II compared to grade I tumors. High magnification, deconvolved confocal images were used to measure differences in co-localization between the four proteins. Significant (p<0.04-0.0001) differences were observed for various permutations of the combinations of proteins and state of the tissue (control, tumor grades I and II). Wnt signaling may play an important role in PeCa and proteins of the Wnt signaling network could be useful targets for diagnosis and prognostic stratification of disease.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPL o S One
Issue number4
Early online date22 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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