The role of smoothened in cancer

Kuo Shyang Jeng, I. Shyan Sheen, Chuen Miin Leu, Ping Hui Tseng*, Chiung Fang Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Smoothened (SMO) belongs to the Hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway, which regulates cell growth, migration, invasion and stem cells in cancer. The HH signaling pathway includes both canonical and noncanonical pathways. The canonical HH pathway functions through major HH molecules such as HH ligands, PTCH, SMO and GLI, whereas the noncanonical HH pathway involves the activation of SMO or GLI through other pathways. The role of SMO has been discussed in different types of cancer, including breast, liver, pancreatic and colon cancers. SMO expression correlates with tumor size, invasiveness, metastasis and recurrence. In addition, SMO inhibitors can suppress cancer formation, reduce the proliferation of cancer cells, trigger apoptosis and suppress cancer stem cell activity. A better understanding of the role of SMO in cancer could contribute to the development of novel therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6863
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal Of Molecular Sciences
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2020


  • Cancer stem cells
  • Hedgehog signaling pathway
  • Smoothened


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