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Lab Invest. 2016 Feb;96(2):137-50. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2015.140. Epub 2015 Dec 7.

WNT signaling in glioblastoma and therapeutic opportunities.

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Department of Health Sciences and Technology, SAIHST, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea.
Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea.
Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.
Department of Neurosurgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.


WNTs and their downstream effectors regulate proliferation, death, and migration and cell fate decision. Deregulation of WNT signaling is associated with various cancers including GBM, which is the most malignant primary brain cancer. In this review, we will summarize the experimental evidence supporting oncogenic roles of WNT signaling in GBM and discuss current progress in the targeting of WNT signaling as an anti-cancer approach. In particular, we will focus on (1) genetic and epigenetic alterations that lead to aberrant WNT pathway activation in GBM, (2) WNT-mediated control of GBM stem cell maintenance and invasion, and (3) cross-talk between WNT and other signaling pathways in GBM. We will then review the discovery of agents that can inhibit WNT signaling in preclinical models and the current status of human clinical trials.

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