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TGFβ activation primes canonical Wnt signaling through the downregulation of AXIN2

Gillespie, J; Ross, RL; Corinaldesi, C; Esteves, F; Derrett-Smith, E; McDermott, MF; Doody, GM; ... Del Galdo, F; + view all (2018) TGFβ activation primes canonical Wnt signaling through the downregulation of AXIN2. Arthritis & Rheumatology 10.1002/art.40437. (In press).

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OBJECTIVES: Aberrant activation of Wnt signaling has been observed in systemic sclerosis (SSc) affected tissues. This study aimed to determine the role of transforming growth factor (TGF)β in driving the increased Wnt signaling, through modulation of AXIN2, a critical regulator of Wnt canonical pathway. METHODS: Canonical Wnt signaling activation was analyzed by TOPFlash TCF/LEF promoter assays. AXIN2 was evaluated in vitro by analysis of AXIN2 primary/mature transcripts expression and decay, TβRI blockade, siRNA-mediated TTP-1 depletion and through XAV-939-mediated AXIN2 stabilisation. In vivo, Axin2 mRNA and protein expression was determined in skin and lung biopsies from TβRIIΔk-fib transgenic mice and littermate controls. RESULTS: SSc fibroblasts display increased response to canonical Wnt ligands despite basal levels of Wnt signaling comparable to healthy control (HC) fibroblasts in vitro. Notably, we show that SSc fibroblasts express reduced basal expression of AXIN2, which is caused by endogenous TGFβ-dependent increase of AXIN2 mRNA decay. Accordingly, we observed that TGFβ decreased AXIN2 expression both in vitro in HC fibroblasts and in vivo, employing TβRIIΔk-fib transgenic mice. Additionally, we demonstrate by AXIN2 loss and gain of function experiments, that the TGFβ-induced increased response to Wnt activation characteristic of SSc fibroblasts is dependent on reduced AXIN2 bioavailability. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the importance of reduced AXIN2 bioavailability in mediating the increased canonical Wnt response observed in SSc fibroblasts. This novel mechanism extends our understanding of the processes involved in Wnt/β-catenin-driven pathology and supports the rationale for targeting the TGFβ pathway to regulate the aberrant Wnt signaling observed during fibrosis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: TGFβ activation primes canonical Wnt signaling through the downregulation of AXIN2
Location: United States
DOI: 10.1002/art.40437
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.40437
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Fibroblasts, Signaling, Systemic Sclerosis, TGFβ, Wnt
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043218
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