Hear the Wnt Ror: how melanoma cells adjust to changes in Wnt


Ashani T. Weeraratna, e-mail: weerarat@mail.nih.gov


The interplay between canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways in development and tumorigenesis is tightly regulated. In this review we will describe the yin and the yang of canonical and non-canonical Wnt signaling pathways during melanocyte development, and melanoma genesis. Canonical Wnt signaling, represented by Wnts such as Wnt1 and Wnt3A, signals via β-catenin to promote melanocyte differentiation and tumor development. Non-canonical Wnt signaling, specifically Wnt5A, regulates canonical pathways, and signals to induce melanoma metastasis. This review will focus on the role of Wnt5A during melanoma progression, and its relationship to canonical Wnt signaling.