Deptor is a novel target of Wnt/β-Catenin/c-Myc and contributes to colorectal cancer cell growth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway drives colorectal cancer growth by deregulating expression of downstream target genes, including the c-myc proto-oncogene. The critical targets that mediate the functions of oncogenic c-Myc in colorectal cancer have yet to be fully elucidated. Previously, we showed that activation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR contributes to colorectal cancer growth and metastasis. Here, we show that Deptor, a suppressor of mTOR, is a direct target of Wnt/β-catenin/c-Myc signaling in colorectal cancer cells. Inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin or knockdown of c-Myc decreased, while activation of Wnt/β-catenin or overexpression of c-Myc increased the expression of Deptor. c-Myc bound the promoter of Deptor and transcriptionally regulated Deptor expression. Inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin/c-Myc signaling increased mTOR activation, and the combination of Wnt and Akt/mTOR inhibitors enhanced inhibition of colorectal cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Deptor expression was increased in colorectal cancer cells; knockdown of Deptor induced differentiation, decreased expression of B lymphoma Mo-MLV insertion region 1 (Bmi1), and decreased proliferation in colorectal cancer cell lines and primary human colorectal cancer cells. Importantly, our work identifies Deptor as a downstream target of the Wnt/β-catenin/c-Myc signaling pathway, acting as a tumor promoter in colorectal cancer cells. Moreover, we provide a molecular basis for the synergistic combination of Wnt andmTORinhibitors in treating colorectal cancer with elevated c-Myc. Significance: The mTOR inhibitor DEPTOR acts as a tumor promoter and could be a potential therapeutic target in colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3163-3175
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 AACR.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Deptor is a novel target of Wnt/β-Catenin/c-Myc and contributes to colorectal cancer cell growth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this