The emerging role of Wnt signaling in the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia

Leukemia. 2007 Aug;21(8):1638-47. doi: 10.1038/sj.leu.2404732. Epub 2007 Jun 7.


Wnt signaling plays an important role in stem cell self-renewal and proliferation. Aberrant activation of Wnt signaling and its downstream targets are intimately linked with several types of cancer with colon cancer being the best-studied example. However, recent results also suggest an important role of Wnt signaling in normal as well as leukemic hematopoietic stem cells. Aberrant activation of Wnt signaling and downstream effectors has been demonstrated in acute myeloid leukemia. Here, mutant receptor tyrosine kinases, such as Flt3 and chimeric transcription factors such as promyelocytic leukemia-retinoic acid receptor-alpha and acute myeloid leukemia1-ETO, induce downstream Wnt signaling events. These findings suggest that the Wnt signaling pathway is an important target in several leukemogenic pathways and may provide a novel opportunity for targeting leukemic stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / etiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Wnt Proteins / physiology*


  • Wnt Proteins