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Cancer and deregulation of stem cells pathways

Filipe Correia Martins, Maria Filomena Botelho, António Manuel Cabrita, Maria Isabel Torgal, Carlos Freire de Oliveira
  • Filipe Correia Martins
    Dept. of Gynecology, University Hospital of Coimbra, Portugal; Biophysics and Biomathematics Institute, IBILI, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra; CIMAGO (Oncology, Genetics and Environment Research Center), Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra, Portugal | filipecorreiamartins@gmail.com
  • Maria Filomena Botelho
    Biophysics and Biomathematics Institute, IBILI, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra; CIMAGO (Oncology, Genetics and Environment Research Center), Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • António Manuel Cabrita
    Experimental Pathology Institute, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra; CIMAGO (Oncology, Genetics and Environment Research Center), Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Maria Isabel Torgal
    Dept. of Gynecology, University Hospital of Coimbra; CIMAGO (Oncology, Genetics and Environment Research Center), Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Carlos Freire de Oliveira
    Dept. of Gynecology, University Hospital of Coimbra; CIMAGO (Oncology, Genetics and Environment Research Center), Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra, Portugal

Abstract

Stem cells may have an important etiological role in cancer. Their classic regulatory pathways are deregulated in tumors, strengthening the stem cell theory of cancer. In this manuscript, we review Wnt, Notch and Hedhehog pathways, describing which of their factors may be responsible for the neoplastic development. Furthermore, we classify these elements as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes, demonstrating their mutation implications in cancer. The activation of these pathways is associated with the expression of certain genes which maintain proliferation and apoptosis inhibition. Further work should be carried out in the future in order to control tumor development by controlling these signaling cascades.

Keywords

Stem cells - Cancer - Wnt - Notch - Hedgehog

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Submitted: 2011-12-18 10:39:13
Published: 2011-12-18 00:00:00
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Copyright (c) 2011 Filipe Correia Martins, Maria Filomena Botelho, António Manuel Cabrita, Maria Isabel Torgal, Carlos Freire de Oliveira

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