Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2012 May
Wnt Signaling in Cancer
Aberrant regulation of the Wnt signaling pathway is a prevalent theme in cancer biology. From the earliest observation that Wnt overexpression could lead to malignant transformation of mouse mammary tissue to the most recent genetic discoveries gleaned from tumor genome sequencing, the Wnt pathway continues to evolve as a central mechanism in cancer biology. This article summarizes the evidence supporting a role for Wnt signaling in human cancer.
This includes a review of the genetic mutations affecting Wnt pathway components, as well as some of epigenetic mechanisms that alter expression of genes relevant to Wnt. I also highlight some research on the cooperativity of Wnt with other signaling pathways in cancer. Finally, some emphasis is placed on laboratory research that provides a proof of concept for the therapeutic inhibition of Wnt signaling in cancer.