CB 399: Canonical Wnt/beta-catenin Signaling: Mechanisms, Cancer and Therapeutics Spring 2011

Intellectual Unit:

Canonical Wnt/beta-catenin Signaling: Mechanisms, Cancer and Therapeutics
Course Director: Ramesh Shivdasani
 Course Lecturers: Ramesh Shivdasani (Departments of Medical Oncology and Cancer Biology), Xi He (Neurology), and Feng Cong (Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research)

Curriculum Fellow: Latishya Steele, latishya_steele@hms.harvard.edu

 Since the original discovery of the Wnt pathway’s role in insect wing patterning and human cancer, its functions are now appreciated in many aspects of development, homeostasis and disease. It is thus important for life scientists to have a working knowledge of the components, functions and regulation of the canonical Wnt pathway. The three lectures in this nanocourse will cover the biochemistry, genetics and disease implications of the Wnt pathway. The value of developmental model systems in elucidation of the pathway and its central role in human colon cancer will be emphasized.


Please note that all participants are welcome to attend the lectures on March 30 and April 6 (four total hours of lecture time). Registered students taking the nanocourse for credit MUST attend all three sessions (six hours total time). Please do NOT register on nanos and quarters if you wish to attend only the lectures. If you are a student taking the entire 6-hour course for credit, please sign up on nanos and quarters. If none of these apply or if you are uncertain, please contact Latishya Steele BEFORE registering on nanos and quarters.


First Session: Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 2 - 5 PM
Location: Cannon Room

Second Session: Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 2- 3 PM
Location: Cannon Room

Third Session: Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 3 – 5 PM
Location: TMEC Building, L-007


Papers for second session discussion (log in required to download) 

 [the first two papers listed in the downloads section are review articles for your reference]

-          Ashton GH, Morton JP, Myant K, Phesse TJ, Ridgway RA, Marsh V, Wilkins JA, Athineos D, Muncan V, Kemp R, Neufeld K, Clevers H, Brunton V, Winton DJ, Wang X, Sears RC, Clarke AR, Frame MC, Sansom OJ. Focal adhesion kinase is required for intestinal regeneration and tumorigenesis downstream of Wnt/c-Myc signaling. Dev Cell. 2010 Aug 17;19(2):259-69.

-          Taelman VF, Dobrowolski R, Plouhinec JL, Fuentealba LC, Vorwald PP, Gumper I, Sabatini DD, De Robertis EM. Wnt signaling requires sequestration of glycogen synthase kinase 3 inside multivesicular endosomes. Cell. 2010 Dec 23;143(7):1136-48.

-          Chen B, Dodge ME, Tang W, Lu J, Ma Z, Fan CW, Wei S, Hao W, Kilgore J, Williams NS, Roth MG, Amatruda JF, Chen C, Lum L.  Small molecule-mediated disruption of Wnt-dependent signaling in tissue regeneration and cancer. Nat Chem Biol. 2009 Feb;5(2):100-7. Epub 2009 Jan 4.

Assignment for second session: Please read ALL THREE of the primary papers listed (these are the last three documents listed). Please note that you MUST BE LOGGED ONTO NANOS AND QUARTERS in order to see and download the papers. For each paper, write ONE paragraph (no more than one to two pages total across all three of the papers) that outlines the aspect(s) of Wnt signaling that is being investigated, summarizes the overall goals and major findings, and highlights strengths and weaknesses relating to quality and/or interpretation of data. We will use these ideas as the basis of the discussion.

Please submit your write-ups as a single .pdf to all three course lecturers (Ramesh_Shivdasani@dfci.harvard.edu, Xi.He@childrens.harvard.edu, feng.cong@novartis.com) AND cc latishya_steele@hms.harvard.edu by 5 pm on Monday, April 4.


DROP DEADLINE: Wednesday, March 23, 2011