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Event: 1754

Key Event Title

The KE title should describe a discrete biological change that can be measured. It should generally define the biological object or process being measured and whether it is increased, decreased, or otherwise definably altered relative to a control state. For example “enzyme activity, decreased”, “hormone concentration, increased”, or “growth rate, decreased”, where the specific enzyme or hormone being measured is defined. More help

Sustained tissue damage / macrophage activation/ porcupine-induced Wnt secretion

Short name
The KE short name should be a reasonable abbreviation of the KE title and is used in labelling this object throughout the AOP-Wiki. The short name should be less than 80 characters in length. More help
Sustained tissue damage / macrophage activation/ porcupine-induced Wnt secretion

Biological Context

Structured terms, selected from a drop-down menu, are used to identify the level of biological organization for each KE. Note, KEs should be defined within a particular level of biological organization. Only KERs should be used to transition from one level of organization to another. Selection of the level of biological organization defines which structured terms will be available to select when defining the Event Components (below). More help

Organ term

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.The biological context describes the location/biological environment in which the event takes place.  For molecular/cellular events this would include the cellular context (if known), organ context, and species/life stage/sex for which the event is relevant. For tissue/organ events cellular context is not applicable.  For individual/population events, the organ context is not applicable. More help
Organ term

Key Event Components

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.Because one of the aims of the AOP-KB is to facilitate de facto construction of AOP networks through the use of shared KE and KER elements, authors are also asked to define their KEs using a set of structured ontology terms (Event Components). In the absence of structured terms, the same KE can readily be defined using a number of synonymous titles (read by a computer as character strings). In order to make these synonymous KEs more machine-readable, KEs should also be defined by one or more “event components” consisting of a biological process, object, and action with each term originating from one of 22 biological ontologies (Ives, et al., 2017; See List). Biological process describes dynamics of the underlying biological system (e.g., receptor signalling). The biological object is the subject of the perturbation (e.g., a specific biological receptor that is activated or inhibited). Action represents the direction of perturbation of this system (generally increased or decreased; e.g., ‘decreased’ in the case of a receptor that is inhibited to indicate a decrease in the signalling by that receptor).Note that when editing Event Components, clicking an existing Event Component from the Suggestions menu will autopopulate these fields, along with their source ID and description. To clear any fields before submitting the event component, use the 'Clear process,' 'Clear object,' or 'Clear action' buttons. If a desired term does not exist, a new term request may be made via Term Requests. Event components may not be edited; to edit an event component, remove the existing event component and create a new one using the terms that you wish to add. More help
Process Object Action
Wnt protein secretion protein-serine O-palmitoleoyltransferase porcupine increased

Key Event Overview

AOPs Including This Key Event

All of the AOPs that are linked to this KE will automatically be listed in this subsection. This table can be particularly useful for derivation of AOP networks including the KE. Clicking on the name of the AOP will bring you to the individual page for that AOP. More help
AOP Name Role of event in AOP Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
Chronic ROS leading to human treatment-resistant gastric cancer KeyEvent Agnes Aggy (send email) Under Development: Contributions and Comments Welcome EAGMST Under Review


This is a structured field used to identify specific agents (generally chemicals) that can trigger the KE. Stressors identified in this field will be linked to the KE in a machine-readable manner, such that, for example, a stressor search would identify this as an event the stressor can trigger. NOTE: intermediate or downstream KEs in one AOP may function as MIEs in other AOPs, meaning that stressor information may be added to the KE description, even if it is a downstream KE in the pathway currently under development.Information concerning the stressors that may trigger an MIE can be defined using a combination of structured and unstructured (free-text) fields. For example, structured fields may be used to indicate specific chemicals for which there is evidence of an interaction relevant to this MIE. By linking the KE description to a structured chemical name, it will be increasingly possible to link the MIE to other sources of chemical data and information, enhancing searchability and inter-operability among different data-sources and knowledgebases. The free-text section “Evidence for perturbation of this MIE by stressor” can be used both to identify the supporting evidence for specific stressors triggering the MIE as well as to define broad chemical categories or other properties that classify the stressors able to trigger the MIE for which specific structured terms may not exist. More help

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) can be selected from an ontology. In many cases, individual species identified in these structured fields will be those for which the strongest evidence used in constructing the AOP was available in relation to this KE. More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
Homo sapiens Homo sapiens High NCBI

Life Stages

The structured ontology terms for life-stage are more comprehensive than those for taxa, but may still require further description/development and explanation in the free text section. More help
Life stage Evidence
All life stages Moderate

Sex Applicability

The authors must select from one of the following: Male, female, mixed, asexual, third gender, hermaphrodite, or unspecific. More help
Term Evidence
Unspecific High

Key Event Description

A description of the biological state being observed or measured, the biological compartment in which it is measured, and its general role in the biology should be provided. For example, the biological state being measured could be the activity of an enzyme, the expression of a gene or abundance of an mRNA transcript, the concentration of a hormone or protein, neuronal activity, heart rate, etc. The biological compartment may be a particular cell type, tissue, organ, fluid (e.g., plasma, cerebrospinal fluid), etc. The role in the biology could describe the reaction that an enzyme catalyses and the role of that reaction within a given metabolic pathway; the protein that a gene or mRNA transcript codes for and the function of that protein; the function of a hormone in a given target tissue, physiological function of an organ, etc. Careful attention should be taken to avoid reference to other KEs, KERs or AOPs. Only describe this KE as a single isolated measurable event/state. This will ensure that the KE is modular and can be used by other AOPs, thereby facilitating construction of AOP networks. More help

Porcupine, which is a trans-membrane endoplasmic reticulum O-acyl transferase, which is important for the secretion of Wnt ligands(Saha et al., 2016a). WNTs are secreted proteins that contain 22-24 conserved cysteine residues (Foulquier et al., 2018). The WNT molecules consist of molecular families including WNT1, WNT2, WNT2B/WNT13, WNT3, WNT4, WNT5A, WNT5B, WNT6, WNT7A, WNT7B, WNT8A, WNT8B, WNT10B, WNT11 and WNT16. (Clevers & Nusse, 2012; M. Katoh, 2001; Kusserow et al., 2005)

Wnt proteins consists of 350-400 amino acids (Saito-Diaz et al., 2013).

WNT ligands are known to trigger at least three different downstream signaling cascades including canonical WNT/beta-catenin signaling pathway, non-canonical WNT/Ca2+ pathway and planer cell polarity (PCP) pathway(De, 2011; Lai, Chien, & Moon, 2009; Willert & Nusse, 2012). WNTs bind to Frizzled proteins, which are seven-pass transmembrane receptors with an extracellular N-terminal cysteine-rich domain (Bhanot et al., 1996; Clevers, 2006). Wnt signaling begins with the binding of Wnt ligand towards the Frizzled receptors (Mohammed et al., 2016).

Wnt ligands bind to Frizzled (FZD) receptors which are seven transmembrane-domain protein receptors (Nile, Mukund, Stanger, Wang, & Hannoush, 2017). At least 10 FZD receptors are identified in human cells. FZD receptor is activated by Wnt ligand binding (MacDonald, Tamai, & He, 2009). 

How It Is Measured or Detected

One of the primary considerations in evaluating AOPs is the relevance and reliability of the methods with which the KEs can be measured. The aim of this section of the KE description is not to provide detailed protocols, but rather to capture, in a sentence or two, per method, the type(s) of measurements that can be employed to evaluate the KE and the relative level of scientific confidence in those measurements. Methods that can be used to detect or measure the biological state represented in the KE should be briefly described and/or cited. These can range from citation of specific validated test guidelines, citation of specific methods published in the peer reviewed literature, or outlines of a general protocol or approach (e.g., a protein may be measured by ELISA).Key considerations regarding scientific confidence in the measurement approach include whether the assay is fit for purpose, whether it provides a direct or indirect measure of the biological state in question, whether it is repeatable and reproducible, and the extent to which it is accepted in the scientific and/or regulatory community. Information can be obtained from the OECD Test Guidelines website and the EURL ECVAM Database Service on Alternative Methods to Animal Experimentation (DB-ALM). ?
  • Secretion of WNT requires a number of other dedicated factors including the sortin receptor Wntless (WLS), which binds to Wnt and escorts it to the cell surface (Banziger et al., 2006; Ching & Nusse, 2006)
  • Wnt signaling is activated by the gene mutations of the signaling components (Ziv et al., 2017).
  • Wnt1, Wnt3a and Wnt5a protein expression are measured by immunoblotting using antibodies for Wnt1, Wnt3a and Wnt5a, respectively (J. Du et al., 2016; B. Wang et al., 2017).
  • WNT2, of which expression is detected by quantitative PCR, immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry, induces EMT (Zhou et al., 2016).
  • Frizzled receptor protein level on the cell surface is measured by flow cytometry with pan-FZD antibody (Jiang et al., 2015; Zeng et al., 2018). DVL protein level is measured by immunoblotting with anti-DVL2 antibody (Zeng et al., 2018).
  • Fzd mRNA level is measured by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) (Zeng et al., 2018).
  • The up-regulation of WNT ligand expression occurs in Homo sapiens (B. Wang et al., 2017).
  • The Wnt genes play an important roles in the secretion from cells, glycosylation and tight association with the cell surface and extracellular matrix in Drosophila melanogaster (Willert & Nusse, 2012).

Domain of Applicability

This free text section should be used to elaborate on the scientific basis for the indicated domains of applicability and the WoE calls (if provided). While structured terms may be selected to define the taxonomic, life stage and sex applicability (see structured applicability terms, above) of the KE, the structured terms may not adequately reflect or capture the overall biological applicability domain (particularly with regard to taxa). Likewise, the structured terms do not provide an explanation or rationale for the selection. The free-text section on evidence for taxonomic, life stage, and sex applicability can be used to elaborate on why the specific structured terms were selected, and provide supporting references and background information.  More help

Oligomerization of FZD and low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5/6 (LRP5/6) activates Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in Homo sapiens (Hua et al., 2018).

Evidence for Perturbation by Stressor


Radiation induces porcupine-induced Wnt secretion in macrophage (Saha et al., 2016a).


List of the literature that was cited for this KE description. Ideally, the list of references, should conform, to the extent possible, with the OECD Style Guide ( (OECD, 2015). More help

Banziger, C., Soldini, D., Schutt, C., Zipperlen, P., Hausmann, G., & Basler, K. (2006). Wntless, a conserved membrane protein dedicated to the secretion of Wnt proteins from signaling cells. Cell, 125(3), 509-522. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2006.02.049

Bhanot, P., Brink, M., Samos, C. H., Hsieh, J.-C., Wang, Y., Macke, J. P., . . . Nusse, R. (1996). A new member of the frizzled family from Drosophila functions as a Wingless receptor. Nature, 382, 225. doi:10.1038/382225a0

Ching, W., & Nusse, R. (2006). A dedicated Wnt secretion factor. Cell, 125(3), 432-433. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2006.04.018

Clevers, H. (2006). Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in development and disease. Cell, 127(3), 469-480. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2006.10.018

Clevers, H., & Nusse, R. (2012). Wnt/beta-catenin signaling and disease. Cell, 149(6), 1192-1205. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2012.05.012

De, A. (2011). Wnt/Ca2+ signaling pathway: a brief overview. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai), 43(10), 745-756. doi:10.1093/abbs/gmr079

Du, J., Zu, Y., Li, J., Du, S., Xu, Y., Zhang, L., . . . Yang, C. (2016). Extracellular matrix stiffness dictates Wnt expression through integrin pathway. Sci Rep, 6, 20395. doi:10.1038/srep20395

Foulquier, S., Daskalopoulos, E. P., Lluri, G., Hermans, K. C. M., Deb, A., & Blankesteijn, W. M. (2018). WNT Signaling in Cardiac and Vascular Disease. Pharmacol Rev, 70(1), 68-141. doi:10.1124/pr.117.013896

Hua, Y., Yang, Y., Li, Q., He, X., Zhu, W., Wang, J., & Gan, X. (2018). Oligomerization of Frizzled and LRP5/6 protein initiates intracellular signaling for the canonical WNT/beta-catenin pathway. J Biol Chem, 293(51), 19710-19724. doi:10.1074/jbc.RA118.004434

Jiang, X., Charlat, O., Zamponi, R., Yang, Y., & Cong, F. (2015). Dishevelled promotes Wnt receptor degradation through recruitment of ZNRF3/RNF43 E3 ubiquitin ligases. Mol Cell, 58(3), 522-533. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2015.03.015

Katoh, M. (2001). Molecular cloning and characterization of human WNT3. International journal of oncology, 19(5), 977-982. Retrieved from

Kusserow, A., Pang, K., Sturm, C., Hrouda, M., Lentfer, J., Schmidt, H. A., . . . Holstein, T. W. (2005). Unexpected complexity of the Wnt gene family in a sea anemone. Nature, 433(7022), 156-160. doi:10.1038/nature03158

Lai, S. L., Chien, A. J., & Moon, R. T. (2009). Wnt/Fz signaling and the cytoskeleton: potential roles in tumorigenesis. Cell Res, 19(5), 532-545. doi:10.1038/cr.2009.41

MacDonald, B. T., Tamai, K., & He, X. (2009). Wnt/beta-catenin signaling: components, mechanisms, and diseases. Dev Cell, 17(1), 9-26. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2009.06.016

Mohammed, M. K., Shao, C., Wang, J., Wei, Q., Wang, X., Collier, Z., . . . Lee, M. J. (2016). Wnt/beta-catenin signaling plays an ever-expanding role in stem cell self-renewal, tumorigenesis and cancer chemoresistance. Genes Dis, 3(1), 11-40. doi:10.1016/j.gendis.2015.12.004

Nile, A. H., Mukund, S., Stanger, K., Wang, W., & Hannoush, R. N. (2017). Unsaturated fatty acyl recognition by Frizzled receptors mediates dimerization upon Wnt ligand binding. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 114(16), 4147-4152. doi:10.1073/pnas.1618293114

Saha, S., Aranda, E., Hayakawa, Y., Bhanja, P., Atay, S., Brodin, N. P., . . . Pollard, J. W. (2016). Macrophage-derived extracellular vesicle-packaged WNTs rescue intestinal stem cells and enhance survival after radiation injury. Nature Communications, 7(1), 13096. doi:10.1038/ncomms13096

Saito-Diaz, K., Chen, T. W., Wang, X., Thorne, C. A., Wallace, H. A., Page-McCaw, A., & Lee, E. (2013). The way Wnt works: components and mechanism. Growth Factors, 31(1), 1-31. doi:10.3109/08977194.2012.752737

Wang, B., Tang, Z., Gong, H., Zhu, L., & Liu, X. (2017). Wnt5a promotes epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and metastasis in non-small-cell lung cancer. Biosci Rep, 37(6). doi:10.1042/BSR20171092

Willert, K., & Nusse, R. (2012). Wnt proteins. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol, 4(9), a007864. doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a007864

Zeng, H., Lu, B., Zamponi, R., Yang, Z., Wetzel, K., Loureiro, J., . . . Cong, F. (2018). mTORC1 signaling suppresses Wnt/beta-catenin signaling through DVL-dependent regulation of Wnt receptor FZD level. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 115(44), E10362-E10369. doi:10.1073/pnas.1808575115

Zhou, Y., Huang, Y., Cao, X., Xu, J., Zhang, L., Wang, J., . . . Zheng, M. (2016). WNT2 Promotes Cervical Carcinoma Metastasis and Induction of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition. PLoS One, 11(8), e0160414. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160414

Ziv, E., Yarmohammadi, H., Boas, F. E., Petre, E. N., Brown, K. T., Solomon, S. B., . . . Erinjeri, J. P. (2017). Gene Signature Associated with Upregulation of the Wnt/beta-Catenin Signaling Pathway Predicts Tumor Response to Transarterial Embolization. J Vasc Interv Radiol, 28(3), 349-355 e341. doi:10.1016/j.jvir.2016.11.004