Wnt signaling in neuromuscular junction development

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2012 Jun;4(6):a008045. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a008045.


Wnt proteins are best known for their profound roles in cell patterning, because they are required for the embryonic development of all animal species studied to date. Besides regulating cell fate, Wnt proteins are gaining increasing recognition for their roles in nervous system development and function. New studies indicate that multiple positive and negative Wnt signaling pathways take place simultaneously during the formation of vertebrate and invertebrate neuromuscular junctions. Although some Wnts are essential for the formation of NMJs, others appear to play a more modulatory role as part of multiple signaling pathways. Here we review the most recent findings regarding the function of Wnts at the NMJ from both vertebrate and invertebrate model systems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / growth & development
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Neuromuscular Junction / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*


  • Ligands
  • Wnt Proteins