Since the first Wnt gene was identified in 1982, the functions and mechanisms of Wnt signaling have been extensively studied. Wnt signaling is conserved from invertebrates to vertebrates and regulates early embryonic development as well as the homeostasis of adult tissues. In addition, both embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells are regulated by Wnt signaling. Deregulation of Wnt signaling is associated with many human diseases, particularly cancers. In this review, we will discuss in detail the functions of many components involved in the Wnt signal transduction pathway. Then, we will explore what is known about the role of Wnt signaling in stem cells and cancers.