Inhibition of canonical WNT signaling attenuates human leiomyoma cell growth

Masanori Ono, Ping Yin, Antonia Navarro, Molly B. Moravek, John S. Coon V, Stacy A. Druschitz, Cara J. Gottardi, Serdar E. Bulun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Objective To assess the effect of three WNT/β-catenin pathway inhibitors - inhibitor of β-catenin and TCF4 (ICAT), niclosamide, and XAV939 - on the proliferation of primary cultures of human uterine leiomyoma cells. Design Prospective study of human leiomyoma cells obtained from myomectomy or hysterectomy. Setting University research laboratory. Patient(s) Women (n = 38) aged 27-53 years undergoing surgery. Intervention(s) Adenoviral ICAT overexpression or treatment with varying concentrations of niclosamide or XAV939. Main Outcome Measure(s) Cell proliferation, cell death, WNT/-catenin target gene expression or reporter gene regulation, β-catenin levels, and cellular localization. Result(s) Inhibitor of β-catenin and TCF4, niclosamide, or XAV939 inhibit WNT/β-catenin pathway activation and exert antiproliferative effects in primary cultures of human leiomyoma cells. Conclusion(s) Three WNT/-catenin pathway inhibitors specifically block human leiomyoma growth and proliferation, suggesting that the canonical WNT pathway may be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of uterine leiomyoma. Our findings provide rationale for further preclinical and clinical evaluation of ICAT, niclosamide, and XAV939 as candidate antitumor agents for uterine leiomyoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1441-1449.e1
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Leiomyoma
  • WNT/β-catenin
  • XAV939
  • niclosamide
  • tumor biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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