Wnt/beta-catenin signaling regulates cytokine-induced human inducible nitric oxide synthase expression by inhibiting nuclear factor-kappaB activation in cancer cells.Cancer Res. 2009 May 01; 69(9):3764-71.CR
The human inducible nitric oxide synthase (hiNOS) gene is regulated by nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) and has recently been shown to be a target of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling might regulate cytokine- or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha)-induced hiNOS expression through interaction with NF-kappaB. A cytokine mixture of TNFalpha + interleukin (IL)-1beta + IFNgamma induced a 2- to 3-fold increase in hiNOS promoter activity in HCT116 and DLD1 colon cells, but produced a 2-fold decrease in SW480 colon cancer cells. A similar differential activity was seen in liver cancer cells (HepG2, Huh7, and Hep3B). Overexpression of beta-catenin produced a dose-dependent decrease in NF-kappaB reporter activity and decreased cytokine mixture-induced hiNOS promoter activity. Gel shift for TNFalpha-induced hiNOS NF-kappaB activation showed decreased p50 binding and decreased NF-kappaB reporter activity in the beta-catenin-mutant HAbeta18 cells. Conversely, enhanced p50 binding and increased NF-kappaB reporter activity were seen in HAbeta85 cells, which lack beta-catenin signaling. Coimmunoprecipitation confirmed that beta-catenin complexed with both p65 and p50 NF-kappaB proteins. NF-kappaB-dependent Traf1 protein expression also inversely correlated with the level of beta-catenin. Furthermore, SW480 cells stably transformed with wild-type adenomatous polyposis coli showed decreased beta-catenin protein and increased TNFalpha-induced p65 NF-kappaB binding as well as iNOS and Traf1 expression. Finally, beta-catenin inversely correlated with iNOS and Fas expression in vivo in hepatocellular carcinoma tumor samples. Our in vitro and in vivo data show that beta-catenin signaling inversely correlates with cytokine-induced hiNOS and other NF-kappaB-dependent gene expression. These findings underscore the complex role of Wnt/beta-catenin, NF-kappaB, and iNOS signaling in the pathophysiology of inflammation-associated carcinogenesis.