Liposomal packaging generates Wnt protein with in vivo biological activity.

TitleLiposomal packaging generates Wnt protein with in vivo biological activity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsMorrell NT, Leucht P, Zhao L, Kim J-B, ten Berge D, Ponnusamy K, Carre LA, Dudek H, Zachlederova M, McElhaney M, Brunton S, Gunzner J, Callow M, Polakis P, Costa M, Zhang XM, Helms JA, Nusse R
JournalPLoS One
ISSN1932-6203 (Electronic)
AbstractWnt signals exercise strong cell-biological and regenerative effects of considerable therapeutic value. There are, however, no specific Wnt agonists and no method for in vivo delivery of purified Wnt proteins. Wnts contain lipid adducts that are required for activity and we exploited this lipophilicity by packaging purified Wnt3a protein into lipid vesicles. Rather than being encapsulated, Wnts are tethered to the liposomal surface, where they enhance and sustain Wnt signaling in vitro. Molecules that effectively antagonize soluble Wnt3a protein but are ineffective against the Wnt3a signal presented by a cell in a paracrine or autocrine manner are also unable to block liposomal Wnt3a activity, suggesting that liposomal packaging mimics the biological state of active Wnts. When delivered subcutaneously, Wnt3a liposomes induce hair follicle neogenesis, demonstrating their robust biological activity in a regenerative context.