Failure of a medulloblastoma-derived mutant of SUFU to suppress WNT signaling

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Abstract

Germline mutations of APC in patients with Turcot syndrome (colon cancer and medulloblastoma), was well as somatic mutations of APC, β-catenin, and Axin in sporadic medulloblastomas (MBs) have shown the importance of WNT signaling in the pathogenesis of MB. A subset of children with MB have germline mutations of SUFU, a known inhibitor of Hedgehog signal transduction. A recent report suggested that murine Sufu can bind β-catenin, export it from the nucleus, and thereby repress β-catenin/T-cell factor (Tcf)-mediated transcription. We show that an MB-derived mutant of SUFU has lost the ability to decrease nuclear levels of β-catenin, and cannot inhibit β-catenin/Tcf-mediated transcription as compared to wild type SUFU. Our results suggest that loss of function of SUFU results in overactivity of both the Sonic Hedgehog, and the WNT signaling pathways, leading to excessive proliferation and failure to differentiate resulting in MB.

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