sFRP1 protects H9c2 cardiac myoblasts from doxorubicin-induced apoptosis by inhibiting the Wnt/PCP-JNK pathway

Yue-huai Hu1, Jie Liu1,2, Jing Lu1, Pan-xia Wang1, Jian-xing Chen1, Ying Guo1, Fang-hai Han3, Jun-jian Wang1, Wei Li4, Pei-qing Liu1,5
1 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
2 Department of Pharmacy, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
3 Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510120, China
4 Department of Anesthesiology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou 510060, China
5 National and Local United Engineering Lab of Druggability and New Drugs Evaluation, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
Correspondence to: Wei Li:, Pei-qing Liu:,
DOI: 10.1038/s41401-020-0364-z
Received: 14 July 2019
Accepted: 9 January 2020
Advance online: 1 April 2020


Doxorubicin (Dox) is an effective chemotherapy drug against a wide range of cancers, including both hematological and solid tumors. However, the serious cardiotoxic effect restricted its clinical application. We previously have illuminated the protective role of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling in Dox-induced cardiotoxicity. Secreted frizzled-related protein 1 (sFRP1) is one of the endogenous inhibitors of both canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling. In this study, we investigated the relationship between sFRP1 and noncanonical Wnt/PCP-JNK (Wnt/planar cell polarity-c-Jun N-terminal kinase) pathway in Dox-induced cardiotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. We showed that treatment of H9c2 cardiac myoblasts with Dox (1 μM) time-dependently suppressed cell viability accompanied by significantly decreased sFRP1 protein level and increased Wnt/PCP-JNK signaling. Pretreatment with SP600125, the Wnt/PCP-JNK signaling inhibitor, attenuated Dox-induced apoptosis of H9c2 cells. Overexpression of sFRP1 protected H9c2 cells from Dox-induced apoptosis by inhibiting the Wnt/PCP-JNK pathway. After intraperitoneal injection of a cumulative dose of 15 mg/kg Dox, rats displayed significant cardiac dysfunction; their heart showed inhibited Wnt/β-catenin signaling and activated Wnt/PCP-JNK signaling. These results suggest that sFRP1 may be a novel target for Dox-induced cardiotoxicity.
Keywords: FRP1; doxorubicin; Wnt/PCP-JNK pathway; apoptosis; Wnt/β-catenin signaling; SP600125

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