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World J Exp Med. 2015 May 20;5(2):84-102. doi: 10.5493/wjem.v5.i2.84. eCollection 2015 May 20.

Role of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in gastric cancer: An in-depth literature review.

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Miguel Angel Chiurillo, Laboratorio de Genética Molecular "Dr. Yunis-Turbay", Decanato de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado, Barquisimeto 3001, Estado Lara, Venezuela.


Gastric cancer remains one of the most common cancers worldwide and one of the leading cause for cancer-related deaths. Gastric adenocarcinoma is a multifactorial disease that is genetically, cytologically and architecturally more heterogeneous than other gastrointestinal carcinomas. The aberrant activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is involved in the development and progression of a significant proportion of gastric cancer cases. This review focuses on the participation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in gastric cancer by offering an analysis of the relevant literature published in this field. Indeed, it is discussed the role of key factors in Wnt/β-catenin signaling and their downstream effectors regulating processes involved in tumor initiation, tumor growth, metastasis and resistance to therapy. Available data indicate that constitutive Wnt signalling resulting from Helicobacter pylori infection and inactivation of Wnt inhibitors (mainly by inactivating mutations and promoter hypermethylation) play an important role in gastric cancer. Moreover, a number of recent studies confirmed CTNNB1 and APC as driver genes in gastric cancer. The identification of specific membrane, intracellular, and extracellular components of the Wnt pathway has revealed potential targets for gastric cancer therapy. High-throughput "omics" approaches will help in the search for Wnt pathway antagonist in the near future.


Adenomatous polyposis coli; Epigenetics; Gastric cancer; Helicobacter pylori; Oncogene; Tumor suppressor; Wnt; β-catenin

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