Wnt signalling in gastrointestinal epithelial stem cells
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Wnt signalling regulates several cellular functions including proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and migration, and is critical for embryonic development. Stem cells are defined by their ability for self-renewal and the ability to be able to give rise to differentiated progeny. Consequently, they are essential for the homeostasis of many organs including the gastrointestinal tract. This review will describe the huge advances in our understanding of how stem cell functions in the gastrointestinal tract are regulated by Wnt signalling, including how deregulated Wnt signalling can hijack these functions to transform cells and lead to cancer.
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