β-Catenin Signalling in Glioblastoma Multiforme and Glioma-Initiating Cells

Chemother Res Pract. 2012;2012:192362. doi: 10.1155/2012/192362. Epub 2012 Feb 12.

Abstract

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a commonly occurring brain tumor with a poor prognosis. GBM can develop both "de novo" or evolve from a previous astrocytoma and is characterized by high proliferation and infiltration into the surrounding tissue. Following treatment (surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy), tumors often reappear. Glioma-initiating cells (GICs) have been identified in GBM and are thought to be responsible for tumors initiation, their continued growth, and recurrence. β-catenin, a component of the cell-cell adhesion complex and of the canonical Wnt pathway, regulates proliferation, adhesion, and migration in different cell types. β-catenin and components of the Wnt canonical pathway are commonly overexpressed in GBM. Here, we review previous work on the role of Wnt/β-catenin signalling in glioma initiation, proliferation, and invasion. Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating GIC biology and glioma progression may help in identifying novel therapeutic targets for GBM treatment.