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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2003 Apr;129(4):199-221. Epub 2003 Apr 18.

The Wnt signaling pathway and its role in tumor development.

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Klinik für Abdominal- Endokrine- und Thoraxchirurgie, Klinikum Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany.


Cancer development depends on the aberrant activation of signal transduction pathways that control cell growth and survival and play important roles in normal embryonic development. This review will focus on one of the most powerful pathways, the canonical Wnt signal transduction cascade, which has been originally described in vertebrate and non-vertebrate embryogenesis and subsequently associated with the development of a multitude of different tumor types, mainly of gastrointestinal origin. In recent years, a variety of novel interacting components and functions have been identified in the Wnt pathway revealing not only the complexity of Wnt signaling but also its potency. Here we will concentrate on the role of the Wnt pathway in cancer development with emphasis placed on the molecular defects known to promote neoplastic transformation in humans and in animal models.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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