Wnt signaling pathways meet Rho GTPases

Cell Biology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10065, USA.
Genes & development (Impact Factor: 10.8). 03/2009; 23(3):265-77. DOI: 10.1101/gad.1760809
Source: PubMed


Wnt ligands and their receptors orchestrate many essential cellular and physiological processes. During development they control differentiation, proliferation, migration, and patterning, while in the adult, they regulate tissue homeostasis, primarily through their effects on stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Underpinning these diverse biological activities is a complex set of intracellular signaling pathways that are still poorly understood. Rho GTPases have emerged as key mediators of Wnt signals, most notably in the noncanonical pathways that involve polarized cell shape changes and migrations, but also more recently in the canonical pathway leading to beta-catenin-dependent transcription. It appears that Rho GTPases integrate Wnt-induced signals spatially and temporally to promote morphological and transcriptional changes affecting cell behavior.

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