Wnt signaling in normal and malignant hematopoiesis.
One of the most remarkable characteristics of stem cells is their ability to perpetuate themselves through self-renewal while concomitantly generating differentiated cells. In the hematopoietic system, stem cells balance these mechanisms to maintain steady-state hematopoiesis for the lifetime of the organism, and to effectively regenerate the system following injury. Defects in the proper control of self-renewal and differentiation can be potentially devastating and contribute to the development of malignancies. In this review, we trace the emerging role of Wnt signaling as a critical regulator of distinct aspects of self-renewal and differentiation, its contribution to the maintenance of homeostasis and regeneration, and how the pathway can be hijacked to promote leukemia development. A better understanding of these processes could pave the way to enhancing recovery after injury and to developing better therapeutic approaches for hematologic malignancies.
Lento, W; Congdon, K; Voermans, C; Kritzik, M; Reya, T
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