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Abstract

Volume 17, Issue 6 (November 2015) 17, 1006–1011; doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.157396

Comparison of gene expression of the oncogenic Wnt/β‑catenin signaling pathway components in the mouse and human epididymis

Kai Wang1,2,*, Ning Li2,*, Ching‑Hei Yeung2, Trevor G Cooper2, Xue‑Xia Liu2, Juan Liu2, Wen‑Ting Wang2, Yan Li2,3, Hui Shi3, Fu‑Jun Liu

1School of Agriculture, Ludong University, Yantai, Shandong, China; 2Central Laboratory, Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital, Yantai, Shandong, China; 3College of Life Science, Yantai University, Yantai, Shandong, China.
*These authors contributed equally to the paper.

Correspondence: Dr. K Wang (wangkyt@163.com)

Received: 15 December 2014; Revised: 12 February 2015; Accepted: 14 April 2015

Abstract

2β‑catenin is an integral part of the Wnt signaling pathway and has been linked to tumorigenesis and multiple developmental processes. The high β‑catenin expression with low tumor incidence in the human epididymis is thus intriguing. In the present study, the β‑catenin gene and protein was found to be highly expressed in the murine caput epididymidis, and the protein mainly localized along the lateral plasma membranes of adjacent epithelial cells throughout both human and mouse epididymides. Furthermore, the adult mouse epididymis was found to express almost all the Wnt/β‑catenin signaling pathway genes that were determined previously by our group in the human organ. Despite the differences in epididymal structure, the similar location of β‑catenin and the high concordance of this pathway’s components’ gene expression in both the adult human and mouse epididymides make the mouse a suitable animal model for studying the anti‑tumor mechanism of the epididymis. In addition, both the mRNA and protein expression of β‑catenin shared a similar spatial expression as the mRNA of Ros1, a proto‑oncogene and a key developmental regulator of the initial segment of the mouse epididymis. The observations on the parallel temporal expression of β‑catenin and Ros1 during postnatal development raise the possibility that the canonical Wnt signaling pathway has an additional role in the postnatal development of mouse epididymis.

Keywords: epididymis; postnatal development; tumorigenesis; Wnt/β‑catenin pathway; β‑catenin

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