Wnt/beta-catenin pathway: Modulating anticancer immune response

Sachin Gopalkrishna Pai*, Benedito A. Carneiro, Jose Mauricio Mota, Ricardo Costa, Caio Abner Leite, Romualdo Barroso-Sousa, Jason Benjamin Kaplan, Young Kwang Chae, Francis Joseph Giles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

124 Scopus citations


Wnt/β-catenin signaling, a highly conserved pathway through evolution, regulates key cellular functions including proliferation, differentiation, migration, genetic stability, apoptosis, and stem cell renewal. The Wnt pathway mediates biological processes by a canonical or noncanonical pathway, depending on the involvement of β-catenin in signal transduction. β-catenin is a core component of the cadherin protein complex, whose stabilization is essential for the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. As multiple aberrations in this pathway occur in numerous cancers, WNT-directed therapy represents an area of significant developmental therapeutics focus. The recently described role of Wnt/β-catenin pathway in regulating immune cell infiltration of the tumor microenvironment renewed the interest, given its potential impact on responses to immunotherapy treatments. This article summarizes the role of Wnt/β-catenin pathway in cancer and ongoing therapeutic strategies involving this pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101
JournalJournal of Hematology and Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 5 2017


  • Cancer immune regulation
  • Immune exclusion
  • Immunotherapy
  • Wnt
  • β-catenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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    Pai, S. G., Carneiro, B. A., Mota, J. M., Costa, R., Leite, C. A., Barroso-Sousa, R., Kaplan, J. B., Chae, Y. K., & Giles, F. J. (2017). Wnt/beta-catenin pathway: Modulating anticancer immune response. Journal of Hematology and Oncology, 10(1), [101]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13045-017-0471-6