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Cancers 2015, 7(3), 1554-1585; doi:10.3390/cancers7030851

Hedgehog Signaling in the Maintenance of Cancer Stem Cells

1
Centre for Cancer Research, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
2
Department of Molecular and Translational Science, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
3
The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, New South Wales 2010, Australia
4
UNSW Faculty of Medicine, Randwick, New South Wales 2031, Australia
5
Department of Thoracic Medicine, St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, New South Wales 2010, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hui-Wen Lo
Received: 22 June 2015 / Revised: 31 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1109 KB, uploaded 11 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent a rare population of cells with the capacity to self-renew and give rise to heterogeneous cell lineages within a tumour. Whilst the mechanisms underlying the regulation of CSCs are poorly defined, key developmental signaling pathways required for normal stem and progenitor functions have been strongly implicated. Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is an evolutionarily-conserved pathway essential for self-renewal and cell fate determination. Aberrant Hh signaling is associated with the development and progression of various types of cancer and is implicated in multiple aspects of tumourigenesis, including the maintenance of CSCs. Here, we discuss the mounting evidence suggestive of Hh-driven CSCs in the context of haematological malignancies and solid tumours and the novel strategies that hold the potential to block many aspects of the transformation attributed to the CSC phenotype, including chemotherapeutic resistance, relapse and metastasis. View Full-Text
Keywords: hedgehog signaling; cancer stem cells; tumourigenesis hedgehog signaling; cancer stem cells; tumourigenesis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cochrane, C.R.; Szczepny, A.; Watkins, D.N.; Cain, J.E. Hedgehog Signaling in the Maintenance of Cancer Stem Cells. Cancers 2015, 7, 1554-1585.

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