Dickkopf1 (DKK1) is a secretory protein that antagonizes oncogenic Wnt signaling by binding to the Wnt coreceptor low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 6 (LRP6). DKK1 may also regulate its own signaling to promote cancer cell proliferation, but the mechanism is not understood. Here, we identified cytoskeleton-associated protein 4 (CKAP4) as a DKK1 receptor and evaluated CKAP4-mediated DKK1 signaling in cancer cell proliferation. We determined that DKK1 binds CKAP4 and LRP6 with similar affinity but interacts with these 2 receptors with different cysteine-rich domains. DKK1 induced internalization of CKAP4 in a clathrin-dependent manner, further supporting CKAP4 as a receptor for DKK1. DKK1/CKAP4 signaling activated AKT by forming a complex between the proline-rich domain of CKAP4 and the Src homology 3 domain of PI3K, resulting in proliferation of normal cells and cancer cells. Expression of DKK1 and CKAP4 was frequent in tumor lesions of human pancreatic and lung cancers, and simultaneous expression of both proteins in patient tumors was negatively correlated with prognosis and relapse-free survival. An anti-CKAP4 antibody blocked the binding of DKK1 to CKAP4, suppressed AKT activity in a human cancer cell line, and attenuated xenograft tumor formation in immunodeficient mice. Together, our results suggest that CKAP4 is a potential therapeutic target for cancers that express both DKK1 and CKAP4.
Hirokazu Kimura, Katsumi Fumoto, Kensaku Shojima, Satoshi Nojima, Yoshihito Osugi, Hideo Tomihara, Hidetoshi Eguchi, Yasushi Shintani, Hiroko Endo, Masahiro Inoue, Yuichiro Doki, Meinoshin Okumura, Eiichi Morii, Akira Kikuchi
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.