All-Trans Retinoic Acid-Induced Deficiency of the Wnt/β-Catenin Pathway Enhances Hepatic Carcinoma Stem Cell Differentiation

Published on Monday, 11 January 2016


Retinoic acid (RA) is an important biological signal that directly differentiates cells during embryonic development and tumorigenesis. However, the molecular mechanism of RA-mediated differentiation in hepatic cancer stem cells (hCSCs) is not well understood.

In this study, we found that mRNA expressions of RA-biosynthesis-related dehydrogenases were highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma.

All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) differentiated hCSCs through inhibiting the function of β-catenin in vitro.

ATRA also inhibited the function of PI3K-AKT and enhanced GSK-3β-dependent degradation of phosphorylated β-catenin. Furthermore, ATRA and β-catenin silencing both increased hCSC sensitivity to docetaxel treatment.

Our results suggest that targeting β-catenin will provide extra benefits for ATRA-mediated treatment of hepatic cancer patients.



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See also All-Trans-Retinoic Acid (ATRA - analogues and/or derivatives).