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Several members of the Wnt gene family have been shown to cause mammary tumors in mouse. Using degenerate primer polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on human genomic DNA, and specific PCR of cDNA libraries, we have isolated a WNT gene which has not previously been described in human. The gene is the human homologue of mouse Wnt10b, recently shown to be one of the oncogenes cooperating with FGF3 in the development of mouse mammary tumour virus (MMTV) induced mouse mammary carcinomas. The human WNT10B sequence was 88% and 95% identical to the murine gene at nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively. YAC FISH mapping localises the gene to 12q13, a chromosomal region frequently rearranged in human tumours and also containing the WNT1 gene. In normal and benign proliferations of human breast tissue, WNT10B expression was not detected by ribonuclease protection assays but was found at low levels in RT-PCR experiments. In contrast, using both methods, WNT10B expression was found to be elevated in 3 of 50 primary breast carcinomas. Southern blot analysis of the carcinoma expressing the highest levels of WNT10B showed no amplification or rearrangement of the gene. The WNT10B gene was also expressed in some cancer and non cancerous breast cell lines. These findings suggest that the WNT10B gene may be involved in human breast cancer, and show that there is differential expression of the WNT10B gene in benign and malignant disease.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1249 - 1253


Amino Acid Sequence, Base Sequence, Breast, Breast Neoplasms, Chromosome Mapping, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 12, Cloning, Molecular, Gene Expression, Genes, Neoplasm, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Wnt Proteins