Reply To: What is Wnt signaling pathway?


WNT signaling pathway is a critical cell signaling pathway involved in the regulation of many important cellular processes. In the WNT signaling pathway, the WNT proteins, which are expressed by the Wnt genes, bind as ligands to the extracellular part of the transmembrane receptors belonging to the Frizzled (Fz) family. The proteins of the LDL receptor–related protein (LRP) family act as co-receptors. The binding of the WNT proteins to the cell surface receptors triggers a cascade of events within the cell (intracellular events).

WNT proteins belong to a large, evolutionarily conserved family of extracellular signaling molecules. The Wnt proteins play a major role during embryogenesis and adult tissue homeostasis. The Wnt signaling pathway controls cell proliferation, cell differentiation, cell movement and cell migration, and body axis patterning. The Wnt cell signaling plays an important role as the regulator of stem cells. Abnormal activation of the Wnt pathway has been linked to various types of the human cancers such as colon cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, melanoma, etc. WNT signaling pathway is thought to play a vital role in deciphering the biology of cancer.