Dkk1 involvement and its potential as a biomarker in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Igbinigie, E; Guo, FB; Jiang, SW; Kelley, C; Li, JP

Li, JP (reprint author), Mercer Univ, Sch Med, Dept Biomed Sci, Savannah, GA 31404 USA.; Li, JP (reprint author), Mayo Clin, Dept Biochem & Mol Biol, Florida Campus, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA.

CLINICA CHIMICA ACTA, 2019; 488 (): 226


Dickkopf-1 (Dkkl)'s dysregulation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of cancers. It is part of the Dkk family of proteins that includes Dkk2, Dkk3 and Dkk4. This family of secreted proteins shares similar conserved cysteine domains and inhibits the Wnt/b-catenin pathway by causing proteasomal B-catenin degradation, inducing apoptosis, and preventing cell proliferation. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the 4th leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States due to the late stage of diagnosis and the limited effectiveness of current therapy. Dkkl is found increased in PADC patients' specimens and serum. Dkkl can be a promising biomarker specific to PDAC, which has the potential to increase PDAC survival rates through improving early stage detection and monitoring progression compared to current biomarker gold standards. In addition, recent studies suggest that Dkkl could be an excellent target for cancer immunotherapy. Interestingly, Dkkl-CKAP4-PI3K/AKT signal pathway also plays role in pancreatic cancer cell proliferation. In this review, we present the multiple mechanisms of Dkkl in PDAC studied thus far and explore its function, regulation, and clinical applications in gynecological cancers including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), breast, ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancer. Further research into Dkkl's mechanism and use as a diagnostic tool, alone or in combination with other biomarkers, could prove clinically useful for better understanding the pathology of PDAC and improving its early detection and treatment.

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