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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hedgehog signaling pathway and gastric cancer.

Hedgehog, WNT, FGF and BMP signaling pathways network together during embryogenesis, tissue regeneration, and carcinogenesis. Aberrant activation of Hedgehog signaling pathway leads to pathological consequences in a variety of human tumors, such as gastric cancer and pancreatic cancer. Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD), surgical gastrectomy and chemotherapy are therapeutic options for gastric cancer; however, prognosis of advanced gastric cancer patient is still poor. Here, Hedgehog signaling pathway in human gastric cancer and its clinical applications will be reviewed. Human SHH, IHH, DHH (Hedgehog homologs), HHAT (Hedgehog acyltransferase), HHIP (Hedgehog-interacting protein), DISP1, DISP2, DISP3 (Dispatched homologs), PTCH1, PTCH2 (Patched homologs), SMO (Smoothened homolog), KIF27, KIF7 (Costal-2 homologs), STK36 (Fused homolog), SUFU (SuFu homolog), DZIP1 (Iguana homolog), GLI1, GLI2 and GLI3 (Cubitus interruptus homologs) are implicated in the Hedgehog signaling. PTCH1, FOXM1 and CCND2 are direct transcriptional targets of Hedgehog signaling. Hedgehog signaling activation leads to cell proliferation through cell cycle regulation. SHH regulates growth and differentiation within gastric mucosa through autocrine loop and FOXL1-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal interaction. SHH is implicated in stem/progenitor cell restitution of damaged gastric mucosa during chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori. SHH up-regulation, IHH upregulation and HHIP down-regulation lead to aberrant activation of Hedgehog signaling through PTCH1 to GLI1 in gastric cancer. Small molecule compounds targeted to SMO (KADD-cyclopamine, SANT1-4, Cur61414) as well as humanized anti-SHH antibodies are potent anti-cancer drugs for gastric cancer. Cocktail of Hedgehog inhibitors would be developed as novel therapeutics for gastric cancer. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and copy number polymorphism (CNP) of Hedgehog signaling genes would be utilized for genetic screening of gastric cancer, while cDNA-PCR, microarray and ELISA detecting aberrant Hedgehog signaling activation would be utilized for therapeutic optional choice. Genetic screening and precise selection of therapeutic options would contribute to the realization of personalized medicine.[1]


  1. Hedgehog signaling pathway and gastric cancer. Katoh, Y., Katoh, M. Cancer Biol. Ther. (2005) [Pubmed]
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