Genes & Cancer

Osteosarcoma progression is associated with increased nuclear levels and transcriptional activity of activated β-Catenin

Noureen Ali1,*, Geetha Venkateswaran1,*, Elizabeth Garcia1, Takaaki Landry1, Hunter McColl2, Consolato Sergi1,4, Amit Persad1, Yasser Abuetabh4, David D. Eisenstat1,2,3 and Sujata Persad1,3

1 Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

2 Department of Medical Genetics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

3 Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

4 Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

* Co-First Authors


Sujata Persad, email:

Keywords: ABC; β-catenin; osteosarcoma progression; transcription; biomarker

Received: January 25, 2019 Accepted: April 25, 2019 Published: May 05, 2019


Osteosarcoma (OS) is an aggressive primary bone malignancy that has peak incidence in children and young adults <25 years of age. Despite current multimodal treatments, no significant change in patient outcome has been observed in two decades. Presently, there is a lack of established, reliable baseline prognostic markers for aggressive OS, other than extent and site of disease involvement.

The canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway controls multiple cellular processes, and is known to be a critical pathway in OS progression. This pathway regulates cellular levels of β-catenin, which is a significant player in the oncogenesis and progression of many cancers.

We investigated the relationship between β-catenin, more specifically, the transcriptionally active form of β-catenin, Activated β-Catenin (ABC), and OS progression. Using an in vitro model, we observed that cellular/nuclear ABC levels, but not cellular/nuclear β-catenin levels, increase with the degree of aggressiveness in OS. Our results demonstrate a strong association between nuclear-ABC levels and aggressive OS in vitro. Furthermore, we observed significant correlation between positive nuclear-ABC and patient age and tumor stage.

Our results support the potential use of ABC as a predictive marker for risk stratification in OS.

PII: 191