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.
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.
- PMID: 17139285
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Novus Biologicals offers beta-catenin reagents for your research needs including: