Research Papers:

WW45, a Gli1 binding protein, negatively regulated Hedgehog signaling in lung cancer

Xuebing Li, Xuexia Zhou, Yaguang Fan, Yalong Zhang, Lingling Zu, Feng Yao _ and Qinghua Zhou

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:68966-68975. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12155

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Xuebing Li1, Xuexia Zhou2, Yaguang Fan1, Yalong Zhang1, Lingling Zu1, Feng Yao3, Qinghua Zhou1,4

1Tianjin Key Laboratory of Lung Cancer Metastasis and Tumor Environment, Tianjin Lung Cancer Institute, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin 300052, China

2Department of Neuropathology, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Injuries, Variations and Regeneration of the Nervous System, Tianjin Neurological Institute, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin 300052, China

3Department of Thoracic Surgery, Shanghai Chest Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China

4Sichuan Lung Cancer Institute, Sichuan Lung Cancer Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China

Correspondence to:

Feng Yao, email: [email protected]

Qinghua Zhou, email: [email protected]

Keywords: WW45, lung cancer, Hedgehog signaling, cell growth, migration

Received: May 30, 2016     Accepted: August 26, 2016     Published: September 21, 2016


Over-expression of Gli1 is very common in lung cancer. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains largely unknown. Here, using mass spectrum, we have identified WW45 as a binding partner of Gli1. WW45 interacted with Gli1, promoted its ubiquitination and inhibited the expression of its target genes. In the functional studies, WW45 inhibited the growth and migration of lung cancer cells. Knocking down the expression of WW45 promoted the growth and migration of lung cancer cells, which was rescued by down-regulation of Gli1. Moreover, over-expression of WW45 inhibited the tumorigenesis in a de novo lung cancer tumorigenesis mouse model (LKB-Ras) as well as the expression of Gli1. Also over-expression of WW45 improved the survival of these mice. In addition, the expression of WW45 was down-regulated in the clinical lung cancer samples, which was inversely correlated with the expression of Gli1. Taken together, this study demonstrated the suppressive roles of WW45 in lung cancer by inhibiting the Hedgehog/Gli1 signaling.

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