Compartment switching of WNT-2 expression in human breast tumors.
Dale TC., Weber-Hall SJ., Smith K., Huguet EL., Jayatilake H., Gusterson BA., Shuttleworth G., O'Hare M., Harris AL.
WNT-2 is a secreted polypeptide with mitogenic effects in murine mammary epithelial cells, but its role in human cancer is unknown. Using RNase protection analysis of primary cell preparations and in situ hybridization analysis, we report that WNT-2 is expressed at low levels in normal human breast fibroblasts but not in epithelial cells. WNT-2 was found to be expressed at high levels in both the epithelium and stroma of 5 of 11 infiltrating carcinomas and 2 of 6 fibroadenomas. The high level of WNT-2 expression in tumor epithelium suggests that tumorigenesis may involve the ectopic expression of WNT-2 and the creation of an autocrine Wnt signaling loop.