Developmental pathways in colon cancer: crosstalk between WNT, BMP, Hedgehog and Notch

Cell Cycle. 2012 Dec 1;11(23):4344-51. doi: 10.4161/cc.22134. Epub 2012 Oct 3.


A hallmark of cancer is reactivation/alteration of pathways that control cellular differentiation during developmental processes. Evidence indicates that WNT, Notch, BMP and Hedgehog pathways have a role in normal epithelial cell differentiation, and that alterations in these pathways accompany establishment of the tumorigenic state. Interestingly, there is recent evidence that these pathways are intertwined at the molecular level, and these nodes of intersection may provide opportunities for effective targeted therapies. This review will highlight the role of the WNT, Notch, BMP and Hedgehog pathways in colon cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / metabolism*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Hedgehog Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Wnt Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*
  • Zinc Finger Protein GLI1


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Trans-Activators
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zinc Finger Protein GLI1