Structural and temporal requirements of Wnt/PCP protein Vangl2 function for convergence and extension movements and facial branchiomotor neuron migration in zebrafish
Strabismus 1 (STB1/VANGL2) and Strabismus 2 (STB2/VANGL1), which have been cloned and characterized using bioinformatics and cDNA-PCR, are human homologues of Drosophila tissue polarity gene strabismus (stbm)/Van Gogh (Vang). STB1 and STB2 are tetra-membrane-spanning proteins with 73.1% total-amino-acid identity. Serine-rich domain and Strabismus-homology (STH1 and STH2) domains are conserved among human STB1, STB2, Xenopus Stbm, and Drosophila Stbm. STH2 domain with the C-terminal Ser/Thr-X-Val motif is implicated in binding with Dishevelled (DVL) proteins. STB1 gene is clustered with CASQ1 gene on human chromosome 1q21-q23, while STB2 gene is clustered with CASQ2 gene on human chromosome 1p13. STB1 and STB2 genes are located around cancer susceptibility loci or recombination hot spots in the human genome. STB1 is moderately expressed in K-562 (leukemia), G-361 (melanoma), and MKN7 (gastric cancer) cells. STB2 is highly expressed in MKN28, MKN74 (gastric cancer), BxPC-3, PSN-1, and Hs766T (pancreatic cancer) cells. On the other hand, STB1 and STB2 are significantly down-regulated in several cancer cell lines and primary tumors. Xenopus homologue of human STB1 and STB2 regulates negatively the WNT - beta-catenin signaling pathway. Loss-of-function mutations of genes encoding negative regulators of WNT - beta-catenin signaling pathway lead to carcinogenesis. Based on functional aspects and human chromosomal loci, STB1 gene and STB2 gene are predicted to be potent tumor suppressor gene candidates. STB1 and STB2 might be suitable targets for tissue engineering in the field of re-generative medicine and for chemoprevention and treatment in the field of clinical oncology.