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The Wnt/ß-Catenin Pathway Cross-Talks with STAT3 Signaling to Regulate Survival of Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cells
Published: Thursday, October 04, 2012
Author: Miryam A. Fragoso et al.

by Miryam A. Fragoso, Amit K. Patel, Rei E. I. Nakamura, Hyun Yi, Krishna Surapaneni, Abigail S. Hackam

Wnt/ß-catenin signaling is an essential pathway that regulates numerous cellular processes, including cell survival. The molecular mechanisms contributing to pro-survival Wnt signaling are mostly unknown. Signal transducer and activator of transcription proteins (STATs) are a well-described family of transcription factors. STAT3 induces expression of anti-apoptotic genes in many tissues and is a downstream mediator of protective growth factors and cytokines. In this study, we investigated whether pro-survival Wnt signaling is mediated by STAT3. The Wnt3a ligand activated Wnt signaling in the retinal pigment epithelium ARPE-19 cell line and significantly increased the viability of cells exposed to oxidative stress. Furthermore, Wnt3a increased STAT3 activation and nuclear translocation, as measured by an antibody against phosphorylated STAT3. Reducing STAT3 levels with siRNA eliminated Wnt3a-dependent protection from oxidative stress. Together, these data demonstrate a previously unknown link between Wnt3a-mediated activation of STAT3 and cell survival, and indicate cross-talk between two important pro-survival signaling pathways.