Hedgehog signaling mechanism and role in cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Cell-cell communication through evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways governs embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis. Deregulation of these signaling pathways has been implicated in a wide range of human diseases including cancer. One such pathway is the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway, which was originally discovered in Drosophila and later found to play a fundamental role in human development and diseases. Abnormal Hh pathway activation is a major driver of basal cell carcinomas (BCC) and medulloblastoma. Hh exerts it biological influence through a largely conserved signal transduction pathway from the activation of the GPCR family transmembrane protein Smoothened (Smo) to the conversion of latent Zn-finger transcription factors Gli/Ci proteins from their repressor (GliR/CiR) to activator (GliA/CiA) forms. Studies from model organisms and human patients have provided deep insight into the Hh signal transduction mechanisms, revealed roles of Hh signaling in a wide range of human cancers, and suggested multiple strategies for targeting this pathway in cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-122
Number of pages16
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • BCC
  • Cancer
  • Gli
  • Hedgehog
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Phosphorylation
  • Ptc
  • Shh
  • Signaling
  • Smo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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