Wnt signaling from development to disease: insights from model systems

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2009 Aug;1(2):a002881. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a002881.


One of the early surprises in the study of cell adhesion was the discovery that beta-catenin plays dual roles, serving as an essential component of cadherin-based cell-cell adherens junctions and also serving as the key regulated effector of the Wnt signaling pathway. Here, we review our current model of Wnt signaling and discuss how recent work using model organisms has advanced our understanding of the roles Wnt signaling plays in both normal development and in disease. These data help flesh out the mechanisms of signaling from the membrane to the nucleus, revealing new protein players and providing novel information about known components of the pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drosophila
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Signal Transduction
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*
  • Xenopus / embryology
  • beta Catenin / metabolism


  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin