Ribosome biogenesis is essential for cell growth and proliferation and is commonly elevated in cancer. Accordingly, numerous oncogene and tumor suppressor signaling pathways target rRNA synthesis. In breast cancer, non-canonical Wnt signaling by Wnt5a has been reported to antagonize tumor growth. Here, we show that Wnt5a rapidly represses rDNA gene transcription in breast cancer cells and generates a chromatin state with reduced transcription of rDNA by RNA polymerase I (Pol I). These effects were specifically dependent on Dishevelled1 (DVL1), which accumulates in nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) and binds to rDNA regions of the chromosome. Upon DVL1 binding, the Pol I transcription activator and deacetylase Sirtuin 7 (SIRT7) releases from rDNA loci, concomitant with disassembly of Pol I transcription machinery at the rDNA promoter. These findings reveal that Wnt5a signals through DVL1 to suppress rRNA transcription. This provides a novel mechanism for how Wnt5a exerts tumor suppressive effects and why disruption of Wnt5a signaling enhances mammary tumor growth in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research