[Frontiers in Bioscience 12, 4020-4033, May 1, 2007]

Wnt pathway and breast cancer

Sonia Mohinta, Hailong Wu, Priyasri Chaurasia, Kounosuke Watabe

Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, 751 North Rutledge PO box 19626, IL 62794-9626, USA


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Types of Pathway
3.1. Canonical pathway
3.2. Non-canonical pathway
4. Role of Wnt in mammary gland development
5. Role of Wnt pathway in mammary gland carcinogenesis
5.1. Clinical significance of the Wnt pathway in breast cancer
5.2. Animal model of breast cancer for Wnt pathway
5.3. How dysregulation of Wnt pathway leads to tumorigenesis and malignant progression?
5.4. Wnt pathway, stem cells and breast cancer
6. Targeting Wnt pathway for potential cancer therapy
6.1. Beta-catenin
6.2. Extracellular components of Wnt pathway
6.2.1. sFRP
6.2.2. Wnt
6.2.3. Dkk
7. Conclusion and future direction
8. Reference


Breast cancer is one of the most debilitating human carcinomas with second highest mortality rate after lung cancer in women. Recent advancement in genetic and biochemical analyses has deciphered the molecular pathways involved in breast cancer development. Wnt signal has long been established to play a critical role in normal development as well as in tumorigenesis. In this review, we summarize the role of Wnt signal in the development of mammary carcinoma, the molecular mechanism via which Wnt signal exerts its malignant potential and various nodal points in the Wnt cascade that can be targeted for drug development and cancer treatment.