Aggressive tumor cells express a plastic, multipotent phenotype similar to embryonic stem cells. However, the absence of major regulatory checkpoints in these tumor cells allows aberrant activation of embryonic signaling pathways, which seems to contribute to their plastic phenotype. Emerging evidence showing the molecular cross-talk between two major stem cell signaling pathways Nodal and Notch suggests a promising therapeutic strategy that could target aggressive tumor cells on the basis of their unique plasticity, and provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying the reemergence of developmental signaling pathways during tumor progression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research