In silico analyses of Wnt1 nsSNPs reveal structurally destabilizing variants, altered interactions with Frizzled receptors and its deregulation in tumorigenesis

pubmed: wnt1 2023-01-29

Sci Rep. 2022 Sep 2;12(1):14934. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-19299-x.


Wnt1 is the first mammalian Wnt gene, which is discovered as proto-oncogene and in human the gene is located on the chromosome 12q13. Mutations in Wnt1 are reported to be associated with various cancers and other human diseases. The structural and functional consequences of most of the non-synonymous SNPs (nsSNPs), present in the human Wnt1 gene, are not known. In the present work, extensive bioinformatics analyses are used to screen 292 nsSNPs of Wnt1 for predicting pathogenic and harmless polymorphisms. We have identified 10 highly deleterious nsSNPs among which 7 are located within the highly conserved areas. These 10 nsSNPs are also predicted to affect the post-translational modifications of Wnt1. Further, structure based stability analyses of these 10 highly deleterious nsSNPs revealed 8 variants as highly destabilizing. These 8 highly destabilizing variants were shown to have high BC score and high RMSIP score from normal mode analyses. Based on the deformation energies, obtained from the normal mode analyses, variants like G169A, G169S, G331R and G331S were found to be unstable. Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations revealed structural stability and fluctuation of WT Wnt1 and its prioritized variants. RMSD remained fluctuating mostly between 4 and 5 Å and occasionally between 3.5 and 5.5 Å ranges. RMSF in the CTD region (residues 330-360) of the binding pocket were lower compared to that of WT. Studying the impacts of nsSNPs on the binding interface of Wnt1 and seven Frizzled receptors have predicted substitutions which can stabilize or destabilize the binding interface. We have found that Wnt1 and FZD8-CRD is the best docked complex in our study. MD simulation based analyses of wild type Wnt1-FZD8-CRD complex and the 8 prioritized variants revealed that RMSF was higher in the unstructured regions and RMSD remained fluctuating in the region of 5 Å ± 1 Å. We have also observed differential Wnt1 gene expression pattern in normal, tumor and metastatic conditions across different tissues. Wnt1 gene expression was significantly higher in metastatic tissues of lungs, colon and skin; and was significantly lower in metastatic tissues of breast, esophagus and kidney. We have also found that Wnt1 deregulation is associated with survival outcome in patients with gastric and breast cancer. Furthermore, these computationally screened highly deleterious nsSNPs of Wnt1 can be analyzed in population based genetic studies and may help understand the Wnt1 associated diseases.

PMID:36056132 | PMC:PMC9440047 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-19299-x