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Role of Wnt/β-Catenin Pathway in Cancer Signaling

  • Casey D. Stefanski
  • Jenifer R. Prosperi
Chapter

Abstract

Wnt/β-catenin signaling is a highly conserved pathway essential for cell development, proliferation, migration, polarity, and stem cell homeostasis. This pathway has also been implicated in tumor initiation and progression. Recent efforts have been made to develop therapies targeting Wnt/β-catenin signaling; however, the complexity of Wnt signaling has complicated their development. While targeting Wnt has potential beneficial effects, understanding when to activate or inhibit Wnt to impede cancer development and progression still needs to be elucidated. Conventionally, Wnt signaling activation has been associated with poor patient outcome; however, it was recently shown to enhance patient outcome in certain cancer subtypes. Wnt target therapy is still in early stages, and numerous clinical trials are investigating Wnt signaling modulators as potential treatments for cancer. There is still much to learn about Wnt signaling and its interactions with other pathways. The next essential step is to identify potential biomarkers to guide how to perturb Wnt signaling for the most effective clinical results.

Keywords

Wnt/β-catenin signaling Cancer Chemotherapy Targeted therapy 

Abbreviations

APC

Adenomatous Polyposis Coli

CBP

CREB-binding protein

CK1

Casein Kinase 1

COSMIC

Catalogue of somatic mutations in cancer

CSC

Cancer stem cell

Dkk1

Dickkopf1

Dvl

Disheveled

EMT

Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition

FAP

Familial adenomatous polyposis

FZD

Frizzled

FZD8CRD

Fusion protein containing the Fc region IgG fused to the cysteine-rich domain of FZD8

GSK3β

Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β

HCC

Hepatocellular carcinoma

HNSCC

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

LGR 4–6

Leucine-rich repeat containing G-protein receptors

LRP5/6

Lipoprotein receptor-related protein

Prcn

Porcupine

SFRPs

Secreted frizzled-related proteins

TCF/LEF

T-cell factor/lymphoid enhance-binding factor

TNKS

Tankyrase

WIFs

WNT inhibitory factors

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Notre DameSouth BendUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyIndiana University School of Medicine – South BendSouth BendUSA

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