Targeting the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in human cancers

Hisayuki Yao, Eishi Ashihara, Taira Maekawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a pivotal role in the regulation of cell growth, cell development and the differentiation of normal stem cells. Constitutive activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is found in many human cancers, and is thus an attractive target for anti-cancer therapy. Specific inhibitors of this pathway have been keenly researched and developed. Areas covered: This review discusses the potential of inhibiting the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, as a therapeutic approach for cancer, along with an overview of the development of specific inhibitors. Expert opinion: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) play a significant role in the development and recurrence of several cancers, and Wnt/β-catenin signaling is important for the proliferation of CSCs. Inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is therefore a promising treatment approach. Progress has been made in the development of screening methods to identify Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibitors. Biomarker-based screening is an effective and promising method for the identification of compounds of interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-887
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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