WISP-1 attenuates p53-mediated apoptosis in response to DNA damage through activation of the Akt kinase, and inhibits TNF-induced cell death in cardiomyocytes. Recombinant WISP-1 enhances ECM deposition in human fibroblasts, suggesting that it might play a role in matrix remodeling in vivo. WISP-1 is upregulated in human patients with idiopathicpulmonary fibrosis and in a mouse model of bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. Orotracheal application of WISP-1 neutralizing antibodies to the lung ameliorates bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis, raising the possibility that WISP-1 might be a potential target for anti-fibrotic therapy.
Expression of WISP-1 promotes tumor growth, and high WISP-1 expression correlates with advanced tumors of the brain, breast, colon, and lung. WISP-1 appears to inhibit metastasis although expression of a WISP-1 splicing variant lacking the VWC domain appears to enhance the invasive characteristic of gastric carcinoma cells.
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