[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: β-Catenin plays important roles in mammary development and tumorigenesis through its functions in cell adhesion, signal transduction and regulation of cell-context-specific gene expression. Studies in mice have highlighted the critical role of β-catenin signaling for stem cell biology at multiple stages of mammary development. Deregulated β-catenin signaling disturbs stem and progenitor cell dynamics and induces mammary tumors in mice. Recent data showing deregulated β-catenin signaling in metaplastic and basal-type tumors suggest a similar link to reactivated developmental pathways and human breast cancer. The present review will discuss β-catenin as a central transducer of numerous signaling pathways and its role in mammary development and breast cancer.
Breast cancer research: BCR 11/2010; 12(6):213. · 5.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a recent issue of Breast Cancer Research, investigators from the Serra laboratory describe a novel mechanism of transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta tumor suppression. Previously, the authors discovered that stromal TGF-beta signaled through Wnt5a to restrain pubertal ductal elongation and branching. Here, they show that inhibition of stromal TGF-beta signaling or Wnt5a loss leads to increased beta-catenin transcriptional activity and reduced latency in mammary tumor models, with tumors displaying a higher proportion of progenitor cell markers. These findings reveal a novel intersection of two tumor suppressors with a potent oncogenic pathway and highlight the need for further study on the role played by canonical Wnt signaling in breast cancer susceptibility and subtype.
Breast cancer research: BCR 06/2009; 11(3):103. · 5.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling regulates stem/progenitor cells and, when perturbed, induces many human cancers. A significant proportion of human breast cancer is associated with loss of secreted Wnt antagonists and mice expressing MMTV-Wnt1 and MMTV-DeltaN89beta-catenin develop mammary adenocarcinomas. Many studies have assumed these mouse models of breast cancer to be equivalent. Here we show that MMTV-Wnt1 and MMTV-DeltaN89beta-catenin transgenes induce tumors with different phenotypes. Using axin2/conductin reporter genes we show that MMTV-Wnt1 and MMTV-DeltaN89beta-catenin activate canonical Wnt signaling within distinct cell-types. DeltaN89beta-catenin activated signaling within a luminal subpopulation scattered along ducts that exhibited a K18(+)ER(-)PR(-)CD24(high)CD49f(low) profile and progenitor properties. In contrast, MMTV-Wnt1 induced canonical signaling in K14(+) basal cells with CD24/CD49f profiles characteristic of two distinct stem/progenitor cell-types. MMTV-Wnt1 produced additional profound effects on multiple cell-types that correlated with focal activation of the Hedgehog pathway. We document that large melanocytic nevi are a hitherto unreported hallmark of early hyperplastic Wnt1 glands. These nevi formed along the primary mammary ducts and were associated with Hedgehog pathway activity within a subset of melanocytes and surrounding stroma. Hh pathway activity also occurred within tumor-associated stromal and K14(+)/p63(+) subpopulations in a manner correlated with Wnt1 tumor onset. These data show MMTV-Wnt1 and MMTV-DeltaN89beta-catenin induce canonical signaling in distinct progenitors and that Hedgehog pathway activation is linked to melanocytic nevi and mammary tumor onset arising from excess Wnt1 ligand. They further suggest that Hedgehog pathway activation maybe a critical component and useful indicator of breast tumors arising from unopposed Wnt1 ligand.
PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(2):e4537. · 3.73 Impact Factor