Stem cell therapy has emerged as a promising tool for the treatment of a variety of diseases. Previously, we have shown that Akt-modified mesenchymal stem cells mediate tissue repair through paracrine mechanisms. Using a comprehensive functional genomic strategy, we show that secreted frizzled related protein 2 (Sfrp2) is the key stem cell paracrine factor that mediates myocardial survival and repair after ischemic injury. Sfrp2 is known to modulate Wnt signaling, and we demonstrate that cardiomyocytes treated with secreted frizzled related protein increase cellular beta-catenin and up-regulate expression of antiapoptotic genes. These findings reveal the key role played by Sfrp2 in mediating the paracrine effects of Akt-mesenchymal stem cells on tissue repair and identify modulation of Wnt signaling as a therapeutic target for heart disease.
Mirotsou M, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jan 30;104(5):1643-8
Tumor formation can result from a decrease in cell death, as well as an increase in cell proliferation. In spite of the high incidence of mammary gland tumors (MGTs) in female dogs, the understanding of its etiology is still poor. Consistent with several proto-oncogenes (such as Wnt) for the mammary gland, sFRP2 is expressed in canine MGTs which is normally silent in the mammary gland. To elucidate the roles of SFRP2 in the tumorigenesis of MGTs, apoptosis regulation mediated by sFRP2 was investigated by overexpression of sFRP2 in MGT cells. DNA fragmentation and TUNEL assays showed a decreased susceptibility of the cells to UV-induced apoptosis in the context of sFRP2 overexpression. To analyze the pathways through which sFRP2 transduces anti-apoptosis signals, multiple-color immunofluorescence staining, immunoprecipitation, and immunoblotting were carried out. sFRP2 was found co-localized in the extracellular matrix of MGTs and the tyrosine phosphorylation of FAK was enhanced. Moreover, JNK was suppressed and NF-kB was activated in the cells expressing sFRP2 after UV-induced apoptosis analyzed by immunoblotting and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). Taken together, these results suggest that sFRP2 exerts its anti-apoptotic function in mammary cancer cells through NF-kappaB activation or JNK suppression.
Lee JL, et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2006 Nov;100(1):49-58
Frzb is a newly discovered family of secreted glycoproteins that function to modulate signaling activity of Wnt. Frzb proteins share sequence homology with the extracellular domain of the Wnt receptor (frizzled) and are capable of binding to Wnt. Thus, Frzb functions to antagonize Wnt activity by sequestering Wnt and preventing its binding to the frizzled receptor. Since the initial identification of bovine and human Frzb, several related members of this family have been isolated from rodent and human. In this paper, we describe the cloning and expression of two human frzb homologues termed hFRP-1b and hFRP-2. These human FRPs share significant homology to mouse sFRP-1 and sFRP-2 (55 and 98% identity at amino acid level, respectively). Northern blot experiments revealed that these Frzb homologues have highly restricted tissue distribution. hFRP-1b is exclusively expressed in pancreatic tissue while high levels of hFRP-2 were found in adipose tissue. In addition, low levels of hFRP-2 were also observed in other tissues including heart, pancreas and muscle. Remarkably, FRP-2 is predominantly expressed in un-differentiated preadipocytes in both rodent and man. The expression of FRP-2 is also significantly reduced in fat pads from obese mice. Taken together, these data indicate that distinctive members of the Frzb family exhibit different expression patterns in vivo, suggesting their ability to modulate diverse aspects of Wnt signaling. The expression and dysregulation of sFRP-2 in fat and obesity also suggest a potential roles on the Wnt signaling pathway in the pathology of obesity and related metabolic diseases. Molecular cloning and expression of these Frzbs will allow detailed molecular and biochemical analysis of Wnt-Frzb interaction and their impact on Wnt-Frizzled receptor signal transduction.
Hu E, et al. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1998 Jul 30;248(3):941-3
Wnt signaling regulates a wide range of developmental processes such as proliferation, cell migration, axon guidance, and cell fate determination. In this report, we studied the expression of secreted frizzled related protein-2 (SFRP-2), which codes for a putative Wnt inhibitor, in the developing nervous system. SFRP-2 is expressed in several discrete neuroepithelial domains, including the diencephalon, the insertion of the eminentia thalami into the caudal telencephalon, and the pallial-subpallial boundary (PSB). We also noted that Wnt-7b expression was similar to SFRP-2 expression. Because many of these structures are disrupted in Pax-6 mutant mice, we examined SFRP-2 and Wnt-7b expression in the forebrains of Pax-6 Sey/Sey mice. We found that Pax-6 mutants lack SFRP-2 expression in the PSB and diencephalon. Interestingly, Pax-6 mutants also lack Wnt-7b expression in the PSB, but Wnt-7b expression in the diencephalon is preserved. Furthermore, in the spinal cord of Pax-6 mutants, SFRP-2 and Wnt-7b expression was greatly reduced. Our results suggest that by virtue of its apposition to Wnt-7b expression, SFRP-2 may modulate its function, particularly at boundaries such as the PSB, and that changes in Wnt signaling contribute to the phenotype of Pax-6 mutants.
Kim As, et al. J Neurosci. 2001 Mar 1;21(5):RC132