Alternative Wnt Pathways and Receptors

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2012 Oct 1;4(10):a007914. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a007914.


In addition to activating β-catenin/TCF transcriptional complexes, Wnt proteins can elicit a variety of other responses. These are often lumped together under the denominator "alternative" or "non-canonical" Wnt signaling, but they likely comprise distinct signaling events. In this article, I discuss how the use of different ligand and receptor combinations is thought to give rise to these alternative Wnt-signaling responses. Although many of the biochemical details remain to be resolved, it is evident that alternative Wnt signaling plays important roles in regulating tissue morphogenesis during embryonic development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cell Polarity / genetics
  • Dishevelled Proteins
  • Frizzled Receptors / genetics
  • Frizzled Receptors / metabolism
  • Frizzled Receptors / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Ligands
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology
  • Receptors, Wnt / physiology*
  • Vertebrates / metabolism
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / physiology*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Dishevelled Proteins
  • Frizzled Receptors
  • Ligands
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Receptors, Wnt