Notch signalling in cancer stem cells
Abstract A new theory about the development of solid tumours is emerging from the idea that solid tumours, like normal adult tissues,\ncontain stem cells (called cancer stem cells) and arise from them. Genetic mutations encoding for proteins involved in critical\nsignalling pathways for stem cells such as BMP, Notch, Hedgehog and Wnt would allow stem cells to undergo uncontrolled proliferation\nand form tumours. Taking into account that cancer stem cells (CSCs) would represent the real driving force behind tumour growth\nand that they may be drug resistant, new agents that target the above signalling pathways could be more effective than current\nanti-solid tumour therapies. In the present paper we will review the molecular basis of the Notch signalling pathway. Additionally,\nwe will pay attention to their role in adult stem cell self-renewal, and cell fate specification and differentiation, and\nwe will also review evidence that supports their implication in cancer.