1389271_Tse,J_2023.pdf (2.8 MB)
A Mouse Model for the Rapid and Binomial Assessment of Putative WNT/β-Catenin Signalling Inhibitors
journal contributionposted on 2023-11-14, 03:42 authored by Janson Tse, Ryan O'KeefeRyan O'Keefe, Angela Rigopolous, Annalisa Leandra Elena CarliAnnalisa Leandra Elena Carli, Jo Waaler, Stefan Krauss, Matthias ErnstMatthias Ernst, Michael BuchertMichael Buchert
Specific signalling thresholds of the WNT/β-catenin pathway affect embryogenesis and tissue homeostasis in the adult, with mutations in this pathway frequently occurring in cancer. Excessive WNT/β-catenin activity inhibits murine anterior development associated with embryonic lethality and accounts for the driver event in 80% of human colorectal cancers. Uncontrolled WNT/β-catenin signalling arises primarily from impairment mutation in the tumour suppressor gene APC that otherwise prevents prolonged stabilisation of β-catenin. Surprisingly, no inhibitor compounds for WNT/β-catenin signalling have reached clinical use in part owing to the lack of specific in vivo assays that discriminate between on-target activities and dose-limiting toxicities. Here, we present a simple in vivo assay with a binary outcome whereby the administration of candidate compounds to pregnant and phenotypically normal Apcflox/flox mice can rescue in utero death of Apcmin/flox mutant conceptus without subsequent post-mortem assessment of WNT/β-catenin signalling. Indeed, the phenotypic plasticity of born Apcmin/flox conceptus enables future refinement of our assay to potentially enable dosage finding and cross-compound comparisons. Thus, we show for the first time the suitability of endogenous WNT/β-catenin signalling during embryonic development to provide an unambiguous and sensitive mammalian in vivo model to assess the efficacy and bioavailability of potential WNT/β-catenin antagonists.