Therapeutic targeting of the oncogenic Wnt signaling pathway for treating colorectal cancer and other colonic disorders

Michal Caspi, Amnon Wittenstein, Michal Kazelnik, Yarden Shor-Nareznoy, Rina Rosin-Arbesfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The canonical Wnt pathway is one of the key cellular signaling cascades that regulates, via the transcriptional co-activator β-catenin, numerous embryogenic developmental processes, as well as tissue homeostasis. It is therefore not surprising that misregulation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway has been implicated in carcinogenesis. Aberrant Wnt signaling has been reported in a variety of malignancies, and its role in both hereditary and sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC), has been the subject of intensive study. Interestingly, the vast majority of colorectal tumors harbor mutations in the tumor suppressor gene adenomatous polyposis coli (APC). The Wnt pathway is complex, and despite decades of research, the mechanisms that underlie its functions are not completely known. Thus, although the Wnt cascade is an attractive target for therapeutic intervention against CRC, one of the malignancies with the highest morbidity and mortality rates, achieving efficacy and safety is yet extremely challenging. Here, we review the current knowledge of the Wnt different epistatic signaling components and the mechanism/s by which the signal is transduced in both health and disease, focusing on CRC. We address some of the important questions in the field and describe various therapeutic strategies designed to combat unregulated Wnt signaling, the development of targeted therapy approaches and the emerging challenges that are associated with these advanced methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-136
Number of pages19
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Volume169
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Colonic delivery
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Wnt signalling

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