Interaction of Hedgehog and Vitamin D Signaling Pathways in Basal Cell Carcinomas

  • Benedikt Albert
  • Heidi HahnEmail author


Basai Cell Carcinomas (BCCs) are the most commonly diagnosed tumors among people in the western world. Most BCCs are caused by mutational inactivation of the tumor suppressor Patched (PTCH), which results in activation of Smoothened (SMO) and of the Hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway. Recent studies indicate that BCC progression involves a crosstalk between Hh signaling, vitamin D derivatives and the vitamin D receptor (Vdr) signaling pathway. This has been demonstrated in BCC-bearing Ptch mutant mice and BCC cell lines, in which both vitamin D3 and its active metabolite calcitriol ( 1 a-25(OH)2D3) exert antitumor effects. Interestingly, the antitumor effects are mainly ascribed to an inhibition of Hh signaling. Furthermore, as evident from studies in Vdr deflcient mice, calcitriol may also repress the activity of Hh signaling in a Vdr-dependent fashion thereby establishing an additional inhibitory feedback on Hh signaling activity. In this chapter, we discuss the current understanding and controversial findings of the inhibition of Hh signaling by vitamin D derivatives and the implication of these findings for BCC carcinogenesis.


Basal Cell Carcinoma Primary Cilium Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome Ptch Mutation Sporadic Basal Cell Carcinoma 
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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media, LCC 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Genetics,University Medical Center GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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