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The role
of DKK1 in cancer

Immune suppression
Angiogenesis and Tumor Growth

DKK1 is produced and secreted by cancer cells, functions on several tumor pathways and nearby immune cells.

MDSC cells

Inhibits B-catenin dependent Wnt signaling to enhance suppressive activity.

NK cell activation

Helps tumor cells avoid NK cell mediated killing.


Upregulates VEGFR2, increases formation of tumor blood vessels.

Cell proliferation

Signals through SKAP4 to activate PI3K / AKT signaling

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DKK1 high tumor levels are associated with poor survival in many cancer indications

DKK1 high cancers DKK1 expression data (TCGA):

~2.5 years shorter OS in DKK1 high patients