Wnt/Beta-Catenin Signaling Regulation and a Role for Biomolecular Condensates

Dev Cell. 2019 Feb 25;48(4):429-444. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.01.025.


Wnt/β-Catenin signaling plays key roles in tissue homeostasis and cell fate decisions in embryonic and post-embryonic development across the animal kingdom. As a result, pathway mutations are associated with developmental disorders and many human cancers. The multiprotein destruction complex keeps signaling off in the absence of Wnt ligands and needs to be downregulated for pathway activation. We discuss new insights into destruction complex activity and regulation, highlighting parallels to the control of other cell biological processes by biomolecular condensates that form by phase separation to suggest that the destruction complex acts as a biomolecular condensate in Wnt pathway regulation.

Keywords: APC; Axin; Wnt; beta-catenin; biomolecular condensate; destruction complex; phase separation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Axin Protein / genetics
  • Axin Protein / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / physiology*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein
  • Axin Protein
  • beta Catenin