Wnt signaling: the good and the bad

Authors

  • Xi Chen,

    1. Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, Texas 77555-1048, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jun Yang,

    1. Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, Texas 77555-1048, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Paul M Evans,

    1. Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, Texas 77555-1048, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Chunming Liu

    Corresponding author
    1. Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, Texas 77555-1048, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

  • This work was supported by the grants from the Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology and the National Institutes of Health (T32CA117834)

*Corresponding author: Tel, 409-747-1909; E-mail, chliu@utmb.edu

Abstract

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.

Ancillary