Speakers: Stuart A. Aaronson (Mount Sinai School of Medicine), Eric R. Fearon (University of Michigan Cancer Center), Randall T. Moon (University of Washington), Paul G. Polakis (Genentech Inc.)Presented by the Biochemical Pharmacology Discussion Group
Reported by Sheila Sperber Haas | Posted August 11, 2006
The large family of Wnts—highly conserved, critically important secreted signaling molecules found in both vertebrates and invertebrates—function as both morphogens and growth factors in the embryo and the adult. The Wnt receptors and signaling pathways are thought to constitute the most complex relationship between extracellular ligands and receptors identified to date.
Dysfunctional Wnt/β-catenin signaling—which creates continuous transcription of the many target genes supporting cell proliferation—has now been documented in a wide range of cancers, including colorectal cancer, melanoma, gastric cancer, and tumors derived from hepatic, breast, and prostate tissue. Mutations in the β-catenin pathway are also linked to bone density syndromes and to neurodegenerative diseases, and may be involved in the retinal disease familial exudative vitreoretinopathy and in Alzheimer's disease.
An October 25, 2005, meeting at the Academy brought together four investigators whose laboratories are helping to define the therapeutic potential of the Wnt signaling pathway.Log in or Join Now to continue