Cripto-1: A common embryonic stem cell and cancer cellmarker

Maria Cristina Rangel, Nadia P. Castro, Hideaki Karasawa, Tadahiro Nagaoka, David S. Salomon, Caterina Bianco

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Human Cripto-1 has been implicated in embryogenesis and tumorigenesis. During early embryonic development, Cripto-1 functions as a coreceptor for transforming growth factor-β family members, including Nodal/growth differentiation factors 1 and 3, and is essential for mesoderm and endoderm formation and anterior/posterior and left-right axis establishment. In normal adult tissues Cripto-1 is expressed at very low levels, while its expression significantly increases in approximately 50-80% of different types of human carcinomas. Overexpression of Cripto-1 in mouse mammary epithelial cells leads to their transformation in vitro and enhances migration, invasion, branching morphogenesis and epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Transgenic mouse studies have shown that overexpression of Cripto-1 in the mammary gland results in mammary hyperplasias and papillary adenocarcinomas. Furthermore, Cripto-1 is expressed at high levels in different types of human tumors. In conclusion, while during embryogenesis Cripto-1 performs specific and regulatory functions related to cell and tissue patterning, inappropriate expression of Cripto-1 in adult tissues leads to cell transformation and tumor progression.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells, Volume 2
Subtitle of host publicationStem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells, Therapeutic Applications in Disease and Injury: Volume 2
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9789400720169
ISBN (Print)9789400720152
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 1


  • Cripto-1
  • Embryonic development
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Mammary hyperplasias
  • Papillary adenocarcinomas


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