DKK3 Expression in Glioblastoma: Correlations with Biomolecular Markers

Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Apr 7;25(7):4091. doi: 10.3390/ijms25074091.


Glioblastoma is the most common malignant primary tumor of the CNS. The prognosis is dismal, with a median survival of 15 months. Surgical treatment followed by adjuvant therapies such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy characterize the classical strategy. The WNT pathway plays a key role in cellular proliferation, differentiation, and invasion. The DKK3 protein, capable of acting as a tumor suppressor, also appears to be able to modulate the WNT pathway. We performed, in a series of 40 patients, immunohistochemical and Western blot evaluations of DKK3 to better understand how the expression of this protein can influence clinical behavior. We used a statistical analysis, with correlations between the expression of DKK3 and overall survival, age, sex, Ki-67, p53, and MGMT and IDH status. We also correlated our data with information included in the cBioPortal database. In our analyses, DKK3 expression, in both immunohistochemistry and Western blot analyses, was reduced or absent in many cases, showing downregulation. To date, no clinical study exists in the literature that reports a potential correlation between IDH and MGMT status and the WNT pathway through the expression of DKK3. Modulation of this pathway through the expression of DKK3 could represent a new tailored therapeutic strategy in the treatment of glioblastoma.

Keywords: DKK3; IDH status; WNT pathway; glioblastoma; glioma; survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Databases, Factual
  • Glioblastoma* / genetics
  • Humans


  • DKK3 protein, human
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.