Wnt Signaling in Stem Cells and Lung Cancer
The Wnt signal transduction pathway plays important roles during embryo development, regulating cell proliferation and survival of immature cells. However, its improper function can lead to harmful consequences for humans, such as aberrant cell proliferation and, therefore, cancer. Increasing evidence suggests that stem cells may be the source of mutant cells that cause cancers to develop and proliferate. Wnt signaling has been shown to promote self-renewal in both gut epithelial and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and to trigger critical pathways in carcinogenesis. Although the function of stem cells in solid tumor development is unclear, the Wnt pathway's role in determining the fate and self-renewal potential of cancer stem cells suggests a critical role in carcinogenesis. The development of new inhibitors, such as antibodies or small molecules, to inhibit this pathway may be of great therapeutic utility against cancer.
KeywordsCancer Stem Cell Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Planar Cell Polarity Stem Cell Renewal Noncanonical Pathway
This work was supported by the Larry Hall and Zygielbaum Memorial Trust, and the Kazan, McClain, Edises, Abrams, Fernandez, Lyons & Farrise Foundation.
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