Thirty years after the identification of WNTs, understanding of their signal transduction pathways continues to expand. Here, we review recent advances in characterizing the Wnt-dependent signaling pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans linking polar signals to rearrangements of the cytoskeleton in different developmental processes, such as proper mitotic spindle orientation, cell migration, and engulfment of apoptotic corpses. In addition to the well-described transcriptional outputs of the canonical and noncanonical Wnt pathways, new branches regulating nontranscriptional outputs that control RAC (Ras related GTPase) activity are also discussed. These findings suggest that Wnt signaling is a master regulator not only of development, but also of cell polarization.
Keywords: Caenorhabditis elegans; Wnt pathway; apoptosis; fate; migration; polarity.
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