WNT3A is a secreted glycoprotein and belongs to the WNT family. Members of this family can interact with cell membrane receptors, thus playing a role in autocrine regulations and paracrine signaling. WNT3A is expressed in placenta at moderate levels, as well as in lung, spleen and prostate at low levels. WNT3A plays important roles in cell growth and differentiation, embryonic development, organogenesis, neural development, immune regulation, bone formation, and carcinogenesis.
WNT3A as a Cancer Biomarker:
Elevated expression of WNT3A has been found in prostate-, breast- and hepatocellular cancer tissue. Accumulating evidence has suggested that WNT3A promotes or suppresses tumor progression via the canonical Wnt signaling pathway depending on cancer type. A vast number of studies on the role of this molecule have been and are still performed (Sha H et al., Chin J Cancer. 2015;34(12):554-62). WNT3A remains to be a hot topic in cancer research.
A variety of studies have been investigating Wnt-signaling in multiple myeloma (MM) because secretion of Wnt signaling inhibitors by the tumor cells contributes to MM-related bone resorption and disease progression. A lot of focus has been laid on studying regulators of the wnt-pathway (e.g. DKKs, sFRPs) as biomarkers in MM but there are only few data about the importance of WNT3A as marker in MM yet (Qiang YW et al., Blood. 2008;112(2):374-382.)
WNT3A as a Bone Disease Biomarker:
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is associated with both pathologic formation of new bone and enhanced bone resorption. Thus it is not surprising that molecules involved in either of those biological pathways may be valuable biomarkers to study this disease. It is well known, that the Wnt signaling pathway plays an essential role in bone remodeling (and therefore in AS) and so might the Wnt-protein family members and their antagonists, which has been proven by finding elevated levels of DKK-1 and WNT3A in AS patients (Klingberg E et al., Ann Rheum Dis. 2012;71:A64)
As wnt-signaling is the center piece of bone remodeling, Wnt-family members play a major role in osteoporosis (OP). Interestingly, WNT3A seems to mediate the beneficial effects of mechanical loading on bone quality (Li X et al. , FASEB J. 2019 Aug;33(8):8913-8924)
Wnt3a involved in the mechanical loading on improvement of bone remodeling and angiogenesis in a postmenopausal osteoporosis mouse model. Li X et al. , FASEB J. 2019 Aug;33(8):8913-8924
WNT3A as a Liver Biomarker:
WNT Signaling is one of several pathways proposed to be a driving force of initiating liver repair. Liver regeneration is both the healing and repair of liver health, as well as a process that increases the severity of disease by inducing scarring and fibrosis. WNT3A and WNT10B are two canonical WNT signaling proteins upregulated in response to liver injuries (including alcohol, pharmaceutical, viral, metabolitic, etc.). WNT3A is a prospective biomarker for early liver damage or indicator of activate liver regeneration pathways.
WNT3A as a Neurological Biomarker:
A number of studies have shown, that WNT3A has regenerative effects on spinal cord injuries (Yin ZS et al. Neurol Res. 2008 Jun;30(5):480-6). This makes WNT3A not only a therapeutically interesting molecule but also a potential biomarker for cell culture and animal models used for studying repair of such injuries.
WNT3A as a Cytokine, Use with Embryonic Stem Cells and in Organoid cultures–
WNT proteins have been implicated in oncogenesis, adipogenesis and in several other developmental processes including liver regeneration. WNT3A has been a key reagent for embryonic or human pluripotent stem cell cultures (PSC or iPSC) being cultured for research use. Purified WNT3A is an especially key protein for three-dimensional organoid culture or techniques, including stomach, small intestine, colon, pancreas, and liver organoids. Recombinant Human WNT3A is a difficult protein to manufacture, thus it is has limited availability and can be expensive. Many research scientists use less pure protein preparations or cell culture supernatant. The lack of consistency with WNT3A protein can lead to variability that can be costly. Techniques to precisely quantify Human WNT3A protein have previously been limited.