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The term "Wnt signaling" does not refer to one uniform signal transduction cascade. Instead, it describes the multiple discrete signals elicited by Wnt ligands following their interaction with distinct receptor complexes. The interaction of stem cells with niche cells is coordinated by the involvement of different signaling pathways, including Wnt signaling. The stem cell populations are highly sensitive to modulation of Wnt pathway activity. Wnt signaling is of paramount importance for stem cell self-renewal, survival, proliferation, differentiation, movement, and cell polarity. Aberrant activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is associated with the pathology of many types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. Importantly, although often initiated by mutation(s) downstream of the Wnt-receptor complex, the progression of colorectal cancer still seems to be augmented by Wnt ligand-mediated signaling. This chapter focuses on the role of Wnt ligands in the intestine and the liver during homeostasis and cancer.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Progress in molecular biology and translational science
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A homeodomain protein and transcription regulator that functions in BLASTOCYST INNER CELL MASS and EMBRYONIC STEM CELL proliferation and CELL SELF RENEWAL. It confers pluripotency on embryonic stem cells and prevents their differentiation towards extraembryonic ENDODERM and trophectoderm (TROPHOBLAST) CELL LINEAGES.
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