Mechanism and function of signal transduction by the Wnt/beta-catenin and Wnt/Ca2+ pathways

Oncogene. 1999 Dec 20;18(55):7860-72. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1203245.


Communication between cells is often mediated by secreted signaling molecules that bind cell surface receptors and modulate the activity of specific intracellular effectors. The Wnt family of secreted glycoproteins is one group of signaling molecules that has been shown to control a variety of developmental processes including cell fate specification, cell proliferation, cell polarity and cell migration. In addition, mis-regulation of Wnt signaling can cause developmental defects and is implicated in the genesis of several human cancers. The importance of Wnt signaling in development and in clinical pathologies is underscored by the large number of primary research papers examining various aspects of Wnt signaling that have been published in the past several years. In this review, we will present a synopsis of current research with particular attention paid to molecular mechanism of Wnt signal transduction and how the mis-regulation of Wnt signaling leads to cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Polarity
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mitogens / metabolism
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins*
  • beta Catenin


  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Mitogens
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • beta Catenin
  • Calcium