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Cancers 2015, 7(3), 1554-1585;

Hedgehog Signaling in the Maintenance of Cancer Stem Cells

Centre for Cancer Research, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
Department of Molecular and Translational Science, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, New South Wales 2010, Australia
UNSW Faculty of Medicine, Randwick, New South Wales 2031, Australia
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
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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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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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