Temporal dynamics of Wnt-dependent transcriptome reveal an oncogenic Wnt/MYC/ribosome axis

J Clin Invest. 2018 Dec 3;128(12):5620-5633. doi: 10.1172/JCI122383. Epub 2018 Nov 12.


Activating mutations in the Wnt pathway drive a variety of cancers, but the specific targets and pathways activated by Wnt ligands are not fully understood. To bridge this knowledge gap, we performed a comprehensive time-course analysis of Wnt-dependent signaling pathways in an orthotopic model of Wnt-addicted pancreatic cancer, using a porcupine (PORCN) inhibitor currently in clinical trials, and validated key results in additional Wnt-addicted models. The temporal analysis of the drug-perturbed transcriptome demonstrated direct and indirect regulation of more than 3,500 Wnt-activated genes (23% of the transcriptome). Regulation was both via Wnt/β-catenin and through the modulation of protein abundance of important transcription factors, including MYC, via Wnt-dependent stabilization of proteins (Wnt/STOP). Our study identifies a central role of Wnt/β-catenin and Wnt/STOP signaling in controlling ribosome biogenesis, a key driver of cancer proliferation.

Keywords: Cancer; Cell Biology; Mouse models; Oncogenes; Oncology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyltransferases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Acyltransferases / genetics
  • Acyltransferases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Membrane Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Protein Stability
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism*
  • Ribosomes / genetics
  • Ribosomes / metabolism*
  • Ribosomes / pathology
  • Transcriptome*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway*


  • MYC protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Acyltransferases
  • PORCN protein, human