Targeting Wnt Signaling in Cancer

2020/01/24 Atrio 800

Seminar

Targeting Wnt Signaling in Cancer

Robert Kypta, PhD

Targeting Wnt Signaling in Cancer A hallmark of cancer is the re-activation of signals that are important during embryonic development, such as those mediated by Wnts. Wnts are secreted lipid-modified glycoproteins that act at short range to control cell polarity and cell movement in the embryo and their signals are increasingly found to be active in metastatic and therapy-resistant tumours. Targeting Wnt signals is a challenge, with nineteen Wnt ligands, at least sixteen receptors and a high level of functional redundancy. Signalling specificity is likely to involve activation of distinct receptors in particular cell and micro environmental contexts and in concert with co-receptors. We are working on defining these interactions and exploring ways to target them, including the use of antibodies that may also be developed to image tumours and deliver toxic molecules. We anticipate that this strategy will provide more effective therapies for deadly metastatic and therapy-resistant cancer.

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