A Wnt canon orchestrating osteoblastogenesis

Trends Cell Biol. 2006 Mar;16(3):151-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2006.01.001. Epub 2006 Feb 7.


Several transcription factors have been identified that control the differentiation of osteoblasts; however, relatively little is known about the signaling pathways involved in regulating the differentiation process. Recently, the canonical Wnt-beta-catenin pathway has been implicated in osteoblastogenesis. This review focuses on the role of the canonical Wnt-beta-catenin pathway during embryonic development, where it is required for the differentiation of osteoblasts from a precursor that is shared with the chondrocyte lineage and the requirement of this pathway during postnatal life in bone homeostasis. The recent findings covered in this review are major advances in our understanding of skeletal development and promise new therapeutic avenues for tissue engineering and treatment of osteoporosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / embryology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Osteoblasts / physiology*
  • Osteogenesis / genetics
  • Osteogenesis / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Vertebrates / physiology
  • Wnt Proteins / genetics
  • Wnt Proteins / physiology*
  • beta Catenin / physiology*


  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin