Broad regulation of gene isoform expression by Wnt signaling in cancer.
Differential gene isoform expression is a ubiquitous mechanism to enhance proteome diversity and maintain cell homeostasis. Mechanisms such as splicing that drive gene isoform variability are highly dynamic and responsive to changes in cell signaling pathways. Wnt/β-catenin signaling has profound effects on cell activity and cell fate and is known to modify several splicing events by altering the expression of individual splicing factors. However, a global assessment of how extensively Wnt signaling regulates splicing and other mechanisms that determine mRNA isoform composition in cancer is lacking. We used deep time-resolved RNA-seq in two independent in vivo Wnt-addicted tumor models during treatment with the potent Wnt inhibitor ETC-159 and examined Wnt regulated splicing events and splicing regulators. We found 1025 genes that underwent Wnt regulated variable exon usage leading to isoform expression changes. This was accompanied by extensive Wnt regulated changes in the expression of splicing regulators. Many of these Wnt regulated events were conserved in multiple human cancers, and many were linked to previously defined cancer-associated splicing quantitative trait loci. This suggests that the Wnt regulated splicing events are components of fundamental oncogenic processes. These findings demonstrate the wide-ranging effects of Wnt signaling on the isoform composition of the cell and provides an extensive resource of expression changes of splicing regulators and gene isoforms regulated by Wnt signaling.
Idris, M; Harmston, N; Petretto, E; Madan, B; Virshup, DM
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