The many postures of noncanonical Wnt signaling in development and diseases

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Sep;93:359-369. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.06.061. Epub 2017 Jun 24.


Wnt signaling regulates many aspects of vertebrate development. Its dysregulation causes developmental defects and diseases including cancer. The signaling can be categorized in two pathways: canonical and noncanonical. Canonical pathway plays a key role in regulating proliferation and differentiation of cells whilst noncanonical Wnt signaling mainly controls cellular polarity and motility. During development, noncanonical Wnt signaling is required for tissue formation. Recent studies have shown that noncanonical Wnt signaling is involved in adult tissue development and cancer progression. In this review, we try to describe and discuss the mechanisms behind the biological effects of noncanonical Wnt signaling, diseases caused by its dysregulation, and implications in adult tissue development biology.

Keywords: Development; Disease; Noncanonical wnt signaling; Review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cell Polarity / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / physiology*


  • Wnt Proteins