Wnt/beta-catenin signaling: new (and old) players and new insights

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2008 Apr;20(2):119-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2008.01.009. Epub 2008 Mar 12.


Wnt/beta-catenin signaling has central roles in embryogenesis and human diseases including cancer. A central scheme of the Wnt pathway is to stabilize the transcription coactivator beta-catenin by preventing its phosphorylation-dependent degradation. Significant progress has been made toward the understanding of this crucial regulatory pathway, including the protein complex that promotes beta-catenin phosphorylation-degradation, and the mechanism by which the extracellular Wnt ligand engages cell surface receptors to inhibit beta-catenin phosphorylation-degradation. Here we review some recent discoveries in these two areas, and highlight some crucial questions that remain to be resolved.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axin Protein
  • Humans
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • Axin Protein
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin