Diversification of signaling pathways that control embryonic development and cancer
Embryonic signaling pathways underlie key events in early development and often become misregulated in disease. The Wnt pathway occupies a special place, being involved in cell division, polarization, migration and differentiation. Besides the beta-catenin pathway that controls cell lineage specification and maintenance, non-canonical Wnt signaling branches regulate cell polarity and behavior. Using the vertebrate embryo as a model, our studies reveal how the pathway branches in different cellular compartments via positive and negative feedback regulation resulting in signal amplification. The number of outcomes is amplified by context-dependence, due to cross-talk with other signaling pathways. Specific mechanisms that generate cell and tissue polarity and trigger epithelial-mesenchymal transition during neural crest development and in metastatic tumors will be discussed.
Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, USA
Domain 1 - UMR 3347 / U1021 - Normal and pathological signaling