A highlight on Sonic hedgehog pathway

Cell Commun Signal. 2018 Mar 20;16(1):11. doi: 10.1186/s12964-018-0220-7.


Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays an essential role during vertebrate embryonic development and tumorigenesis. It is already known that Sonic hedgehog (Shh) pathway is important for the evolution of radio and chemo-resistance of several types of tumors. Most of the brain tumors are resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs, consequently, they have a poor prognosis. So, a better knowledge of the Shh pathway opens an opportunity for targeted therapies against brain tumors considering a multi-factorial molecular overview. Therefore, emerging studies are being conducted in order to find new inhibitors for Shh signaling pathway, which could be safely used in clinical trials. Shh can signal through a canonical and non-canonical way, and it also has important points of interaction with other pathways during brain tumorigenesis. So, a better knowledge of Shh signaling pathway opens an avenue of possibilities for the treatment of not only for brain tumors but also for other types of cancers. In this review, we will also highlight some clinical trials that use the Shh pathway as a target for treating brain cancer.

Keywords: Brain tumors; Canonical Shh signaling; Clinical-trials; Non-canonical Shh signaling; Sonic hedgehog pathway.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • DNA Modification Methylases / metabolism
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / metabolism
  • Hedgehog Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Hedgehog Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • DNA Modification Methylases
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases