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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2006 Mar;63(6):642-52.

Hedgehog signaling in pancreas development and disease.

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Diabetes Center and Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Ave., 94143, USA.


Since its discovery, numerous studies have shown that the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays an instrumental role during diverse processes of cell differentiation and organ development. More recently, it has become evident that Hh signaling is not restricted to developmental events, but retains some of its activity during adult life. In mature tissues, Hh signaling has been implicated in the maintenance of stem cell niches in the brain, renewal of the gut epithelium and differentiation of hematopoietic cells. In addition to the basal function in adult tissue, deregulated signaling has been implicated in a variety of cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, glioma and small cell lung cancer. Here, we will focus on the role of Hh signaling in pancreas development and pancreatic diseases, including diabetes mellitus, chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

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