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Biology: Main Types Of Wnt Pathways

1445 words - 6 pages

Introduction
Wnt signalling pathways are highly significant protein substances within the body. They are responsible for passing signals across cell membrane receptors from without the cell to within the cell. This communication can occur either among neighbouring cells or within the same cell. The pathways play a regulatory role in that it regulates gene transcription, cytoskeleton, and calcium within the cell. Wnt signalling pathways are unique in that they are similar in several species. The pathways are also associated with embryonic development and carcinogenesis. They regulate processes such as cell migration, proliferation, and cell fate specification. When wnt signalling is activated ...view middle of the document...

Wnt1 expression increases the proliferation of stem cells, enhances senesce failure, and increases resistance to apoptosis. The regulation of progenitor and stem cells by wnt signalling is also responsible for the resistance of anti-cancer therapies.
Role of Wnt in the Development of Breast Cancer
Lamb et al. (2013) conducted a study using normal and metastatic human breast cancer cells to determine the role of Wnt in breast cancer development. The cells were collected from human participants’ tissues. Several studies were then conducted including Wnt inhabitation and activation, microassay analysis, breast cancer microarray, and RNA extraction of the breast cells. mRNA expression in breast cells show that gene expression is specific along specific lines. For instance, some downstream targets like LEF1 and AXIN2 manifest higher expression, and this indicates canonical wnt signalling activation. The results of the study confirm the presence of wnt signalling in metastatic breast cells while its activation is minimal in normal breast cells. Further, the study helped determine the role of wnt expression in breast cancer. Here, low expression of SFRP1and LEF1 leads to increased chances of cancer recurrence as it indicates Wnt signalling inhibition. On the other hand, high expressions indicate a risk of early recurrence. This was discovered after analysing wnt5b.
The activation of Wnts pathway was determined using stem-like breast cancer cells. This was ascertained by the increase in AXIN2, LEF1, DKKInand bata-catenin expression in anoikis resistant cells during the mammosphere culture. In addition, the study confirmed that normal stem-like breast cells do not undergo wnt signalling due to suppression. A comparative study showed that breast cancer cells express more Wnt signalling than normal cells do. It was also observed that Wnt ligands were expressed better in AR cells as compared to monolayer cells for the normal cells. However, the reverse was true for the cancer cells. The study was also significant in determining the role of Wnt pathway signalling modulation on stem-like cell action. In cases where Wnt pathways are inhibited, mammosphere formation occurs at low doses of treatment in cancer cells while none occurs in the normal cells.
Role of Wnt in the Development of Ovarian Cancer
Wnt signalling has also been associated with ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer affects the epithelial cells of ovaries in women. The development of ovarian cancer is associated with the deregulation of wnt signalling which leads to metastasis and tumourigenesis. Development of this cancer is more progressive in patients without SFPR4 due to the inefficient wnt regulation. The cancer cells also enhance their invasive activity by hijacking the Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) process. The process plays a significant role in metastatis and organogenesis when it occurs in reverse, that is, Mesenchymal to Epithelial Transition (MET). Wnt regulation can...

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