JOURNAL ARTICLE

Niclosamide suppresses cancer cell growth by inducing Wnt co-receptor LRP6 degradation and inhibiting the Wnt/β-catenin pathway

Wenyan Lu, Cuihong Lin, Michael J Roberts, William R Waud, Gary A Piazza, Yonghe Li
PloS One 2011, 6 (12): e29290
22195040
The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is important for tumor initiation and progression. The low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-6 (LRP6) is an essential Wnt co-receptor for Wnt/β-catenin signaling and represents a promising anticancer target. Recently, the antihelminthic drug, niclosamide was found to inhibit Wnt/β-catenin signaling, although the mechanism was not well defined. We found that niclosamide was able to suppress LRP6 expression and phosphorylation, block Wnt3A-induced β-catenin accumulation, and inhibit Wnt/β-catenin signaling in HEK293 cells. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of niclosamide on LRP6 expression/phosphorylation and Wnt/β-catenin signaling were conformed in human prostate PC-3 and DU145 and breast MDA-MB-231 and T-47D cancer cells. Moreover, we showed that the mechanism by which niclosamide suppressed LRP6 resulted from increased degradation as evident by a shorter half-life. Finally, we demonstrated that niclosamide was able to induce cancer cell apoptosis, and displayed excellent anticancer activity with IC(50) values less than 1 µM for prostate PC-3 and DU145 and breast MDA-MB-231 and T-47D cancer cells. The IC(50) values are comparable to those shown to suppress the activities of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in prostate and breast cancer cells. Our data indicate that niclosamide is a unique small molecule Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibitor targeting the Wnt co-receptor LRP6 on the cell surface, and that niclosamide has a potential to be developed a novel chemopreventive or therapeutic agent for human prostate and breast cancer.

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