RNF43 and ZNRF3 in Wnt Signaling - A Master Regulator at the Membrane

Int J Stem Cells. 2023 Nov 30;16(4):376-384. doi: 10.15283/ijsc23070. Epub 2023 Aug 30.


The Wnt β-catenin signaling pathway is a highly conserved mechanism that plays a critical role from embryonic development and adult stem cell homeostasis. However, dysregulation of the Wnt pathway has been implicated in various diseases, including cancer. Therefore, multiple layers of regulatory mechanisms tightly control the activation and suppression of the Wnt signal. The E3 ubiquitin ligases RNF43 and ZNRF3, which are known negative regulators of the Wnt pathway, are critical component of Wnt signaling regulation. These E3 ubiquitin ligases control Wnt signaling by targeting the Wnt receptor Frizzled to induce ubiquitination-mediated endo-lysosomal degradation, thus controlling the activation of the Wnt signaling pathway. We also discuss the regulatory mechanisms, interactors, and evolution of RNF43 and ZNRF3. This review article summarizes recent findings on RNF43 and ZNRF3 and their potential implications for the development of therapeutic strategies to target the Wnt signaling pathway in various diseases, including cancer.

Keywords: RNF43; Stem cell; Wnt signaling; ZNRF3.

Publication types

  • Review