Ryk is essential for Wnt-5a-dependent invasiveness in human glioma

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Glioblastoma is characterized by marked invasiveness, but little is known about the mechanism of invasion in glioblastoma cells. Wnts are secreted ligands that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, motility and fate at various developmental stages. In adults, misregulation of the Wnt pathway is associated with several diseases. Recently, we reported that Wnt-5a was overexpressed and correlated with cell motility and infiltrative activity through the regulation of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 in glioma-derived cells. Although several receptors for Wnt-5a were identified, the receptors of Wnt-5a that mediate cellular responses of glioma were not clearly identified. Knockdown of receptor-like tyrosine kinase (Ryk) but not that of Ror2 suppressed the activity of MMP-2 and Wnt-5a-dependent invasive activity in glioma cells. These results suggest that Ryk is important for the Wnt-5a-dependent induction of MMP-2 and invasive activity in glioma-derived cells and that Ryk might have a novel patho-physiological function in adult cancer invasion. Furthermore, not only the expression of Wnt-5a but also that of Frizzled (Fz)-2 and Ryk was correlated with the WHO histological grade in 38 human glioma tissues. Taking these findings together, Fz-2 and Ryk could be therapeutic or pharmacological target molecules for the control of Wnt-5a-dependent invasion of human glioma in the near future.

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