Beta Catenin Implications for Signaling

Mon, 02/11/2013 - 17:12

The Wnt/beta Catenin signaling pathway plays a critical role in embryonic development, stem cell self-renewal and regeneration. Alterations in this signaling cascade have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer. Notably, chronic activation of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is found in a variety of human malignancies including melanoma, colorectal and hepatocellular carcinomas (1). In adults, aberrant activation of these same biological processes can induce neoplasia and promote tumour progression.

Immunocytochemistry/Immunofluorescence: beta Catenin Antibody

There are two distinct pathways for transduction of Wnt signals: the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin pathway and the non-canonical beta-catenin-independent pathway. Recent studies have demonstrated that cyclin D1, c-myc and MMP7 were important target genes of Wnt signaling pathway and overexpression of them was highly associated with accumulation of beta-catenin and mutational defects of the Wnt signaling pathway in numerous cancers (2). In addition to its role in the canonical Wnt signaling pathway, the beta-catenin protein also participates in cell adhesion at adherens junctions. beta-catenin links the cytoplasmic domain of transmembrane cadherins to the actin cytoskeleton via its association with the adaptor protein alpha-catenin (3). Taken together, these results highlight the complex roles beta-catenin signaling plays in a variety of cellular events and a better understanding of this complex molecule is an open area of research.

  1. PMID: 17139285
  2. PMID: 11943708
  3. PMID: 16611688

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