Wnt and Kras signaling-dark siblings in lung cancer
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1Department of Medicine, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Cardiovascular Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Received: July 11, 2011; Accepted: July 12, 2011; Published: July 13, 2011;
Keywords: Kras, Wnt/β-catenin, lung progenitor, Clara cell
Edward E. Morrisey, Ph.D., email:
Aberrant Kras signaling is observed in a high percentage of human lung cancers while activating mutations in the Wnt/b-catenin signaling pathway are only rarely found. Our recent work has shown that the combined activation of both Kras and Wnt/b-catenin signaling leads to a dramatic increase in both tumor incidence and size. Moreover, lung tumors generated by the combined activation of both of these pathways exhibit a distinct phenotype similar to embryonic progenitors found in the developing lung. Thus, combinatorial activation of Kras and Wnt/b-catenin pathways leads to a significant increase in lung tumor formation characterized by a more progenitor like phenotype.
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