Cooperation between Wnt and Notch signalling in human breast cancer

Breast Cancer Res. 2007;9(3):105. doi: 10.1186/bcr1671.


The Wnt and Notch signalling pathways play major roles in mammary gland development and tumourigenesis. During development, these pathways have opposing effects. However, in a recent paper Ayyanan and coworkers show that expression of Wnt1 is sufficient to transform primary human mammary epithelial cells, and that this is in part due to activation of the Notch pathway. This indicates that during tumourigenesis the two pathways cooperate. Here we ask why activation of Wnt signalling alone is sufficient to cause transformation; whether there is evidence for inhibitory crosstalk between the pathways during tumourigenesis; and whether cooperation between these pathways occurs in other forms of cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast / cytology
  • Breast / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Cell Division
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Notch / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Telomere / genetics
  • Wnt Proteins / physiology*


  • Receptors, Notch
  • Wnt Proteins