Down-Regulation of Canonical and Up-Regulation of Non-Canonical Wnt Signalling in the Carcinogenic Process of Squamous Cell Lung Carcinoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Veronika Csongei
  • Alexander Weich
  • Edit Kiss
  • Szilvia Barko
  • Tamas Kovacs
  • Monika Avdicevic
  • Judit Rapp
  • Krisztian Kvell
  • Laszlo Jakab
  • Miklos Nyitrai
  • Tamas F. Molnar
  • Terezia Laszlo
  • Judit E. Pongracz

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Medical School, University of Pecs
  • University of Pecs


The majority of lung cancers (LC) belong to the non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) type. The two main NSCLC sub-types, namely adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), respond differently to therapy. Whereas the link between cigarette smoke and lung cancer risk is well established, the relevance of non-canonical Wnt pathway up-regulation detected in SCC remains poorly understood. The present study was undertaken to investigate further the molecular events in canonical and non-canonical Wnt signalling during SCC development. A total of 20 SCC and AC samples with matched non-cancerous controls were obtained after surgery. TaqMan array analysis confirmed up-regulation of non-canonical Wnt5a and Wnt11 and identified down-regulation of canonical Wnt signalling in SCC samples. The molecular changes were tested in primary small airway epithelial cells (SAEC) and various lung cancer cell lines (e.g. A549, H157, etc). Our studies identified Wnt11 and Wnt5a as regulators of cadherin expression and potentiated relocation of β-catenin to the nucleus as an important step in decreased cellular adhesion. The presented data identifies additional details in the regulation of SCC that can aid identification of therapeutic drug targets in the future.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere57393
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2013