Research Perspectives:

Wnt and Kras signaling-dark siblings in lung cancer

Eugenia C. Pacheco-Pinedo and Edward E. Morrisey _

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Oncotarget. 2011; 2:569-574. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.305

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Eugenia C. Pacheco-Pinedo and Edward E. Morrisey

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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