Kinase-inactive glycogen synthase kinase 3beta promotes Wnt signaling and mammary tumorigenesis

Farago M, Dominguez I, Landesman-Bollag E, Xu X, Rosner A, Cardiff RD and Seldin DC
Source: Cancer Res
Publication Date: (2005)
Issue: 65(13): 5792-5801
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Species: mouse
Tissue Origin: breast
Nucleofector® I/II/2b
Recent studies have implicated ectopic activation of the Wnt pathway in many human cancers, including breast cancer. beta-catenin is a critical coactivator in this signaling pathway and is regulated in a complex fashion by phosphorylation, degradation, and nuclear translocation. Glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3beta) phosphorylation of the NH2-terminal domain of beta-catenin targets it for ubiquitination and proteosomal degradation. We hypothesized that expression of kinase-inactive GSK3beta (KI-GSK3beta) in mammary glands would function in a dominant-negative fashion by antagonizing the endogenous activity of GSK3beta and promoting breast cancer development. Consistent with this, we find that KI-GSK3beta stabilizes beta-catenin expression, catalyzes its localization to the nucleus, and up-regulates the downstream target gene, cyclin D1, in vitro. In vivo, transgenic mice overexpressing the KI-GSK3beta under the control of the mouse mammary tumor virus-long terminal repeat develop mammary tumors with overexpression of beta-catenin and cyclin D1. Thus, antagonism of GSK3beta activity is oncogenic in the mammary epithelium; mutation or pharmacologic down-regulation of GSK3beta could promote mammary tumors.