The Wnt signaling pathway and bone metabolism

Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2007 Jul;19(4):376-82. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e32816e06f9.


Purpose of review: The Wnt signaling pathway has been a major focus of effort in the bone field for the past 5 years. This review will examine some of the seminal findings that have brought us to our current understanding of the role of this pathway in bone metabolism.

Recent findings: The Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway has been shown to play a major role in bone cell differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis. It is a critical component of bone mass regulation and required for bone to respond to mechanical loading. The pathway is tightly regulated by a number of modulator proteins. Mutations in pathway components that result in aberrant regulation are involved in a number of bone diseases.

Summary: Understanding the role that the Wnt signaling pathways play in the regulation of bone metabolism offers great promise for the developmental of new paradigms and pharmaceutical strategies for the treatment of various diseases such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Progress in this regard has already been made.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Diseases / genetics
  • Bone Diseases / metabolism*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • LDL-Receptor Related Proteins / genetics
  • LDL-Receptor Related Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Rheumatic Diseases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • LDL-Receptor Related Proteins
  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin