About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

New Study Sheds Light on Conditions from Alopecia to Cancer

by Colleen Fleiss on March 25, 2018 at 1:32 AM
Font : A-A+

New Study Sheds Light on Conditions from Alopecia to Cancer

Key finding about Wnt signaling associated with developmental defects and a myriad of diseases ranging from alopecia to colorectal cancer has been discovered by University of Dundee and the Francis Crick Institute researchers.

The research, jointly led by Dundee's Dr Gopal Sapkota and Professor Sir Jim Smith of the Crick, examined the role of a protein called PAWS1 in the Wnt signalling pathway, which is of fundamental importance in shaping developing embryos and controlling cell fate in adults. Mutations that cause slight alterations in Wnt signalling can lead to the developmental defects and disease. The researchers have now demonstrated that PAWS1 plays a significant impact in controlling the Wnt signalling pathway.


"Abnormal Wnt signalling is associated with many cancers, particularly colorectal cancers," said Dr Sapkota. "Understanding how PAWS1 regulates Wnt signalling may therefore offer new opportunities and targets for potential interventions." The Dundee-Crick team had previously made the discovery of PAWS1 as a protein associated with a range of signalling processes involved in the development of bone, cartilage and other tissues in the human body. In order to further understand its role in development and disease, they looked at frogs as the activation of Wnt signalling in frog embryos is known to cause a two-headed tadpole.

The researchers found that injection of PAWS1 into frog embryos resulted in two-head tadpoles, thus implicating PAWS1 in the control of Wnt signalling. When they removed PAWS1 from a human osteosarcoma cell line, they found that Wnt signalling was inhibited. To further explore the molecular mechanisms through which PAWS1 controls Wnt signalling, the researchers discovered that PAWS1 interacts with Casein Kinase 1 alpha (CK1?), an enzyme that is known to regulate Wnt signalling.

They went on to map the determinants of PAWS1-CK1 interaction and subsequently demonstrated that PAWS1 mutations incapable of associating with CK1? not only fail to cause two-headed tadpoles but are also unable to activate Wnt signalling. This leads to the prospect of scientists one day being able to use PAWS1 to correct potentially deleterious alterations to Wnt signalling and therefore prevent or treat the diseases associated with it.

Dr Sapkota continued, "Our uncovering of PAWS1 as a crucial regulator of CK1? in Wnt signalling represents a significant leap in our understanding of this important signalling pathway. CK1? has been known as an important player in Wnt signalling for two decades but its regulation had remained a mystery until now." The findings are published in the current issue of EMBO Reports. Polyxeni Bozatzi, a PhD student in Dr Sapkota's lab, and Dr Kevin Dingwell, from Professor Smith's lab, are joint lead authors of this study.

Professor Smith said, "Although the precise function of PAWS1 was poorly understood, PAWS1 mutations are known to cause palmoplantar hyperkeratosis, a disease in which there is excessive skin cell growth on the soles and palms and can affect normal hair growth leading to conditions such as alopecia. "This research is an outcome of a long-standing collaboration between the Dundee and Crick labs. It represents a wonderful example of how collaboration facilitates key scientific discoveries."

Source: Eurekalert

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Printed Temperature Sensors help with Continuous Temperature Monitoring
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Hair Loss Cancer and Homeopathy Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Top Tips for Hair Loss Prevention Causes of Hair Loss Hair Loss in Men Hair Restoration Premature Balding 

Recommended Reading
Hair Loss in Women
Hair loss or Alopecia can be emotionally devastating to women but understanding reasons behind hair ...
Colon Polyps
A colon polyp is a fleshy growth on the inside of the colon, also called the large intestine. In ......
Wnt Inhibitor can Eradicate Colorectal Cancer Stem Cells
Wnt inhibitor called NCB-0846 binds to Traf2- and Nck-interacting kinase (TNIK) in an inactive ......
In Knee Osteoarthritis, Wnt Inhibitor may Ease Pain and Improve Function
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease affecting middle-aged and older people. It is ......
Causes of Hair Loss
Worried about your hair loss? Before you leap into a course of treatment, look at what might be caus...
Hair Loss
Hair loss, referred to as alopecia, is a common yet distressing condition that affects young as well...
Hair Loss in Men
A few men are only in their twenties when they begin to lose hair, but by the time men reach their f...
Hair Restoration
Surgical and medical hair restoration can help really ‘restore’ all the hair you have lost....
Premature Balding
Premature balding afflicts a large number of people, but doctors are just beginning to understand wh...
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...
Top Tips for Hair Loss Prevention
Top tips to prevent hair loss and keeping yourself from getting bald....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use