Wnt signaling and human diseases: what are the therapeutic implications?

Lab Invest. 2007 Feb;87(2):97-103. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.3700509. Epub 2007 Jan 8.


Wnt signaling plays an important role in regulating cell proliferation and differentiation. De-regulation of these signaling pathways has been implicated in many human diseases, ranging from cancers to skeletal disorders. Wnt proteins are a large family of secreted factors that bind to the Frizzled receptors and LRP5/6 co-receptors and initiate complex signaling cascades. Over the past two decades, our understanding of Wnt signaling has been significantly improved due to the identification of many key regulators and mediators of these pathways. Given that Wnt signaling is tightly regulated at multiple cellular levels, these pathways themselves offer ample nodal points for targeted therapeutics. Here, we focus on our current understanding of these pathways, the associations of Wnt signaling with human disorders, and the opportunities to target key components of Wnt signaling for rational drug discovery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease*
  • Drug Therapy / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Wnt Proteins / genetics*
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism


  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin