, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 30-38
Date: 06 Jun 2007

Networking of WNT, FGF, Notch, BMP, and Hedgehog Signaling Pathways during Carcinogenesis

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Abstract

The biological functions of some orthologs within the human genome and model-animal genomes are evolutionarily conserved, but those of others are divergent due to protein evolution and promoter evolution. Because WNT signaling molecules play key roles during embryogenesis, tissue regeneration and carcinogenesis, the author’s group has carried out a human WNT-ome project for the comprehensive characterization of human genes encoding WNT signaling molecules. From 1996 to 2002, we cloned and characterized WNT2B/WNT13, WNT3, WNT3A, WNT5B, WNT6, WNT7B, WNT8A, WNT8B, WNT9A/WNT14, WNT9B/WNT14B, WNT10A, WNT10B, WNT11, FZD1, FZD2, FZD3, FZD4, FZD5, FZD6, FZD7, FZD8, FZD10, FRAT1, FRAT2, NKD1, NKD2, VANGL1, RHOU/ARHU, RHOV/ARHV, GIPC2, GIPC3, FBXW11/βTRCP2, SOX17, TCF7L1/TCF3, and established a cDNA-PCR system for snap-shot and dynamic analyses on the WNT-transcriptome. In 2003, we identified and characterized PRICKLE1, PRICKLE2, DACT1/DAPPER1, DACT2/DAPPER2, DAAM2, and BCL9L. After completion of the human WNT-ome project, we have been working on the stem cell signaling network. WNT signals are transduced to β-catenin, NLK, NFAT, PKC, JNK and RhoA signaling cascades. FGF20, JAG1 and DKK1 are target genes of the WNT-β-catenin signaling cascade. Cross-talk of WNT and FGF signaling pathways potentiates β-catenin and NFAT signaling cascades. BMP signals induce IHH upregulation in co-operation with RUNX. Hedgehog signals induce upregulation of SFRP1, JAG2 and FOXL1, and then FOXL1 induces BMP4 upregulation. The balance between WNT-FGF-Notch and BMP-Hedgehog signaling networks is important for the maintenance of homoestasis among stem and progenitor cells. Disruption of the stem cell signaling network results in pathological conditions, such as congenital diseases and cancer.