Modulation of β-catenin signaling by natural agents induces apoptotic cell death in many common cancers, including colon cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Part 1

September 8, 2013, Featured in Cancer and Natural Medicines, 0 Comments

Beta-catenin is a multifunctional oncogenic protein that contributes fundamentally to cell development and biology. Mutations and overexpression of β-catenin has been implicated in many cancers, including colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. β-catenin is an essential component of two cellular systems: As a component of the cadherin protein complex, β-catenin can regulate cell growth and adhesion between cells and also acts as an intracellular signal transducer in the Wnt signaling pathway. The Wnt signaling pathway stimulates the growth of both normal cells and cancer stem cells.

Cytoplasmic β-catenin levels are normally kept low through continuous proteosome-mediated degradation by a ‘destructive complex’ of APC (adenomatous polyposis coli)/GSK-3β (glycogen synthase kinase-3β)/Axin. This is a feedback mechanism that prevents the excessive accumulation of β-catenin in …