The emergence of molecular gynecology : homeobox and Wnt genes in the female reproductive tract

Wnt gene family : data evidence about Wnt-7a deregulation in response to pre-natal exposure to DES

2000 Study Abstract

Reproductive tissues respond to steroid hormones and thus are particularly vulnerable to the effects of exogenous steroid ‘mimic’ compounds (endocrine disrupters).

One such endocrine disrupter, diethylstilbestrol (DES), is linked to gynecological cancers and changes in uterine structure that reduce or completely abrogate reproductive competence.

Until recently, little was known about the identity of target genes and signaling pathways involved in pathologies linked to endocrine disrupters such as DES.

We outline genetic, cellular and molecular roles for patterning genes, with emphasis on homeobox and Wnt genes. There is evidence that changes in the expression of Wnt and homeogenes underlie many of the defects induced by DES.

Data obtained from murine systems will likely apply to a broad spectrum of gynecological pathologies involving abnormal cell behaviors ranging from fibroids to malignant tumors. Knowledge garnered from modern molecular genetics should lead to progress in the emerging field of molecular gynecology.

Sources and more information
  • The emergence of molecular gynecology: homeobox and Wnt genes in the female reproductive tract, BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, PMID: 10984716, 2000 Oct.
  • Wnt genes and endocrine disruption of the female reproductive tract: a genetic approach, Mol Cell Endocrinol, PMID: 10630399, 1999 Dec.
  • WNT7A Gene in genomic location: bands according to Ensembl, locations according to GeneLoc (and/or Entrez Gene and/or Ensembl if different) featured image credit genecards.

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