Skip to Content

hedgehog protein

 

Definition: a family of secreted intercellular signaling proteins that plays an essential role in early embryonic patterning of major organs, including the brain, eye, bone, gonads, skin, blood, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and prostate. In mammals, three hedgehog proteins have been identified: sonic hedgehog, indian hedgehog, and desert hedgehog. Two receptors for hedgehog proteins have been identified: patched (Ptc), a negative regulator of Hh-signaling pathways, and smooth-end (Smo), a positive regulator. Abnormal functioning of the signaling pathway has been implicated in many forms of birth defects. In postembryonic life, the pathway may be activated to stimulate tissue repair or cell proliferation. Abnormal activation may lead to cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of human cancer.

Disclaimer: This site is designed to offer information for general educational purposes only. The health information furnished on this site and the interactive responses are not intended to be professional advice and are not intended to replace personal consultation with a qualified physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. You must always seek the advice of a professional for questions related to a disease, disease symptoms, and appropriate therapeutic treatments.
© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
Hide