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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dkk-3, a Secreted Wnt Antagonist, Suppresses Tumorigenic Potential and Pulmonary Metastasis in Osteosarcoma


Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary bone malignancy with a high propensity for local invasion and distant metastasis. Despite current multidisciplinary treatments, there has not been a drastic change in overall prognosis within the past 2 decades. Dickkopf-3 protein (Dkk-3/REIC) has been known to inhibit canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway, and its expression has been shown to be downregulated in OS cell lines. Using in vivo and in vitro studies, we demonstrated that Dkk-3-transfected 143B cells inhibited tumorigenesis and metastasis in an orthotopic xenograft model of OS. Inoculation of Dkk-3-transfected 143B cell lines into nude mice showed significant decreased tumor growth and less metastatic pulmonary nodules (88.7%) compared to the control vector. In vitro experiments examining cellular motility and viability demonstrated less anchorage-independent growth and decreased cellular motility for Dkk-3-transfected 143B and SaOS2 cell lines compared to the control vector. Downstream expressions of Met, MAPK, ALK, and S1004A were also downregulated in Dkk-3-transfected SaOS2 cells, suggesting the ability of Dkk-3 to inhibit tumorigenic potential of OS. Together, these data suggest that Dkk-3 has a negative impact on the progression of osteosarcoma. Reexpressing Dkk-3 in Dkk-3-deficient OS tumors may prove to be of benefit as a preventive or therapeutic strategy.

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