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Jan 2016 Nature communications

Identification of p62/SQSTM1 as a component of non-canonical Wnt VANGL2-JNK signalling in breast cancer.


Puvirajesinghe TM, Bertucci F, Jain A, Scerbo P, Belotti E, Audebert S, Sebbagh M, Lopez M, Brech A, Finetti P, Charafe-Jauffret E, Chaffanet M, Castellano R, Restouin A, Marchetto S, Collette Y, Gonçalvès A, Macara I, Birnbaum D, Kodjabachian L, Johansen T, Borg JP


The non-canonical Wnt/planar cell polarity (Wnt/PCP) pathway plays a crucial role in embryonic development. Recent work has linked defects of this pathway to breast cancer aggressiveness and proposed Wnt/PCP signalling as a therapeutic target. Here we show that the archetypal Wnt/PCP protein VANGL2 is overexpressed in basal breast cancers, associated with poor prognosis and implicated in tumour growth. We identify the scaffold p62/SQSTM1 protein as a novel VANGL2-binding partner and show its key role in an evolutionarily conserved VANGL2-p62/SQSTM1-JNK pathway. This proliferative signalling cascade is upregulated in breast cancer patients with shorter survival and can be inactivated in patient-derived xenograft cells by inhibition of the JNK pathway or by disruption of the VANGL2-p62/SQSTM1 interaction. VANGL2-JNK signalling is thus a potential target for breast cancer therapy.

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