F Lazzaroni, L Del Giacco, D Biasci, M Turrini, L Prosperi, R Brusamolino, R Cairoli, A Beghini
Defects in the control of Wnt signaling have emerged as a recurrent mechanism involved in cancer pathogenesis and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), including the hematopoietic regeneration-associated WNT10B in AC133bright leukaemia cells, although the existence of a specific mechanism remains unproven. We have obtained evidences for a recurrent rearrangement, which involved the WNT10B locus (WNT10BR) within intron 1 (IVS1) and flanked at the 5' by non-human sequences whose origin remains to be elucidated; it also expressed a transcript variant (WNT10BIVS1) which was mainly detected in a cohort of patients with intermediate/unfavorable risk AML. We also identified in two separate cases, affected by AML and breast cancer respectively, a genomic transposable short form of human WNT10B (ht-WNT10B). The intronless ht-WNT10B resembles a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), which suggests its involvement in a non-random microhomology-mediated recombination generating the rearranged WNT10BR. Furthermore, our studies supports an autocrine activation primed by the formation of WNT10B-FZD4/5 complexes in the breast cancer MCF7 cells that express the WNT10BIVS1. Chemical interference of WNT-ligands production by the porcupine inhibitor IWP-2 achieved a dose-dependent suppression of the WNT10B-FZD4/5 interactions. These results present the first evidence for a recurrent rearrangement promoted by a mobile ht-WNT10B oncogene, as a relevant mechanism for Wnt involvement in human cancer.