WNT and Beta-Catenin Signalling: Diseases and Therapies

Nat Rev Genet. 2004 Sep;5(9):691-701. doi: 10.1038/nrg1427.

Abstract

WNT signalling has been studied primarily in developing embryos, in which cells respond to WNTs in a context-dependent manner through changes in survival and proliferation, cell fate and movement. But WNTs also have important functions in adults, and aberrant signalling by WNT pathways is linked to a range of diseases, most notably cancer. What is the full range of diseases that involve WNT pathways? Can inhibition of WNT signalling form the basis of an effective therapy for some cancers? Could activation of WNT signalling provide new therapies for other clinical conditions? Finally, on the basis of recent experiments, might WNTs normally participate in self-renewal, proliferation or differentiation of stem cells? If so, altering WNT signalling might be beneficial to the use of stem cells for therapeutic means.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin

Substances

  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin