Wnt Signaling in Cancer Stem Cell Biology

Cancers (Basel). 2016 Jun 27;8(7):60. doi: 10.3390/cancers8070060.


Aberrant regulation of Wnt signaling is a common theme seen across many tumor types. Decades of research have unraveled the epigenetic and genetic alterations that result in elevated Wnt pathway activity. More recently, it has become apparent that Wnt signaling levels identify stem-like tumor cells that are responsible for fueling tumor growth. As therapeutic targeting of these tumor stem cells is an intense area of investigation, a concise understanding on how Wnt activity relates to cancer stem cell traits is needed. This review attempts at summarizing the intricacies between Wnt signaling and cancer stem cell biology with a special emphasis on colorectal cancer.

Keywords: Wnt inhibition; Wnt signaling; cancer; cancer stem cell niche; cancer stem cells; stem cells; targeted therapy.

Publication types

  • Review