Regulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling by posttranslational modifications

Cell Biosci. 2014 Mar 4;4(1):13. doi: 10.1186/2045-3701-4-13.


The canonical Wnt signaling pathway (or Wnt/β-catenin pathway) plays a pivotal role in embryonic development and adult homeostasis; deregulation of the Wnt pathway contributes to the initiation and progression of human diseases including cancer. Despite its importance in human biology and disease, how regulation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is achieved remains largely undefined. Increasing evidence suggests that post-translational modifications (PTMs) of Wnt pathway components are essential for the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. PTMs create a highly dynamic relay system that responds to Wnt stimulation without requiring de novo protein synthesis and offer a platform for non-Wnt pathway components to be involved in the regulation of Wnt signaling, hence providing alternative opportunities for targeting the Wnt pathway. This review highlights the current status of PTM-mediated regulation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway with a focus on factors involved in Wnt-mediated stabilization of β-catenin.