Copyright ©2008 The WJG Press and Baishideng. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Mar 28, 2008; 14(12): 1823-1827
Published online Mar 28, 2008. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.1823
Crosstalk between tumor cells and microenvironment via Wnt pathway in colorectal cancer dissemination
Dan Huang, Xiang Du
Dan Huang, Xiang Du, Department of Pathology, Cancer Hospital of Fudan University; Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China
Author contributions: Du X designed the research and Huang D wrote the paper.
Correspondence to: Xiang Du, 270 Dong An Road, Department of Pathology, Cancer Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China.
Telephone: +86-21-64175590-3357
Fax: +86-21-64174774
Received: November 3, 2007
Revised: January 30, 2008
Published online: March 28, 2008

Invasion and metastasis are the deadly face of malignant tumors. Considering the high rate of incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer, it is critical to determine the mechanisms of its dissemination. In the parallel investigation of the invasive front and tumor center area of colorectal cancer (CRC), observation of heterogeneous β-catenin distribution and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) at the invasive front suggested that there might be a crosstalk between tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment. Wnt signaling pathway is also involved in the cancer progression due to its key role in CRC tumorigenesis. Moreover, in recent years, there is increasing evidence that the regulators of microenvironment, including extracellular matrix, growth factors and inflammatory factors, are associated with the activation of Wnt pathway and the mobility of tumor cells. In this review, we will try to explain how these molecules trigger metastasis via the Wnt pathway.

Keywords: Invasion, Microenvironment, Colorectal cancer, Epithelial-mesenchymal transition, Wnt, β-catenin