Intersection of AHR and Wnt signaling in development, health, and disease

Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Oct 3;15(10):17852-85. doi: 10.3390/ijms151017852.


The AHR (aryl hydrocarbon receptor) and Wnt (wingless-related MMTV integration site) signaling pathways have been conserved throughout evolution. Appropriately regulated signaling through each pathway is necessary for normal development and health, while dysregulation can lead to developmental defects and disease. Though both pathways have been vigorously studied, there is relatively little research exploring the possibility of crosstalk between these pathways. In this review, we provide a brief background on (1) the roles of both AHR and Wnt signaling in development and disease, and (2) the molecular mechanisms that characterize activation of each pathway. We also discuss the need for careful and complete experimental evaluation of each pathway and describe existing research that explores the intersection of AHR and Wnt signaling. Lastly, to illustrate in detail the intersection of AHR and Wnt signaling, we summarize our recent findings which show that 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)-induced disruption of Wnt signaling impairs fetal prostate development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryonic Development
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / toxicity
  • Prostate / growth & development
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Wnt Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism


  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon
  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin