ABSTRACT: Once urinary bladder cancer (UBC) develops into muscle-invasive bladder cancer, its mortality rate increases dramatically. However, the molecular mechanisms of UBC invasion and metastasis remain largely unknown. Herein, using 5637 UBC cells, we generated two sublines with low (5637 NMI) and high (5637 HMI) invasive capabilities. Mass spectrum analyses revealed that the Wnt family protein Wnt7a is more highly expressed in 5637 HMI cells than in 5637 NMI cells. We also found that increased Wnt7a expression is associated with UBC metastasis and predicted worse clinical outcome in UBC patients. Wnt7a depletion in 5637 HMI and T24 cells reduced UBC cell invasion and decreased levels of active β-catenin and its downstream target genes involved in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation. Consistently, treating 5637 NMI and J82 cells with recombinant Wnt7a induced cell invasion, EMT, and expression of ECM degradation–associated genes. Moreover, TOP/FOPflash luciferase assays indicated that Wnt7a activated canonical β-catenin signaling in UBC cells, and increased Wnt7a expression was associated with nuclear β-catenin in UBC canonical Wnt signaling pathway and UBC cell invasion. We also confirmed that reduction of tumor suppressive miR-370-3p in 5637 HMI cells induced Wnt7a overexpression.
J Biol Chem. 2018 May 4;293(18):6693-6706. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.001689. Epub 2018 Mar 16.