Exp Cell Res. 2020 Jul 16:112170. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2020.112170. Online ahead of print.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide with poor prognosis and high recurrence. Aberrant Wnt/β-catenin signaling promotes oncogenesis by transcriptional activation of c-Myc and its downstream signals. EDAR is characterized as an important effector of canonical Wnt signaling in developing skin appendages, but the interplay between EDAR and Wnt signaling in tumorigenesis and progression remains to be elucidated. In this study, we revealed that EDAR expression
is prevalently elevated in colorectal cancer tissues compared with normal tissues. Further analysis suggests there is a strict correlation between EDAR expression and colorectal cancer progression. EDAR silencing by shRNA in colorectal cancer cells showed proliferative suppression via retarding cell cycle at G1 phase. Xenograft mice transplanted with shEDAR-transduced tumor cells significantly alleviated tumor burden in comparison with control mice. Furthermore, downregulation of EDAR was accompanied by reduction of β-catenin, c-Myc and other G1 cell cycle regulators, while β-catenin agonist restored the expression of these proteins and overrode the proliferative block induced by EDAR knockdown. These findings indicate that EDAR functions as a component of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, and is a potential modulator in colorectal carcinogenesis.