A Pathway to Leukemia

Science Signaling  30 Mar 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 115, pp. ec100
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3115ec100

Leukemia is initiated and maintained by a small number of self-renewing cells called leukemia stem cells (LSCs), which share properties with hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), the self-renewing cells that produce healthy blood cells. Wang et al. studied mouse models of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a disease that is often refractory to existing therapies. Activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway was required for efficient oncogene-mediated conversion of HSCs into LSCs. This pathway is among the most well studied signaling pathways in cell biology, setting the stage for testing of β-catenin signaling antagonists in preclinical models of AML.

Y. Wang, A. V. Krivtsov, A. U. Sinha, T. E. North, W. Goessling, Z. Feng, L. I. Zon, S. A. Armstrong, The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is required for the development of leukemia stem cells in AML. Science 327, 1650–1653 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]