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Cell Signal. 2007 Apr;19(4):659-71. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

Multiplicity of the interactions of Wnt proteins and their receptors.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, 1-2-3 Kasumi, Hiroshima, Japan.


Wnts are secreted proteins that are essential for a wide array of developmental and physiological processes. They signal across the plasma membranes by interacting with serpentine receptors of the Frizzled (Fz) family and members of the low-density-lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) family. Recent advances in the Wnt signaling field have revealed that Wnt-unrelated proteins activate or suppress Wnt signaling by binding to Fzs or LRP5/6 and that atypical receptor tyrosine kinases mediate Wnt signaling independently of Fz and/or function as a Fz co-receptor. This review highlights recent progress in our understanding of the multiplicity of Wnts and their receptors. We discuss how the interaction between the ligands and receptors activate distinct intracellular signaling pathways. We also discuss how intracellular trafficking of Wnt signaling components can regulate the sensitivity of cells to Wnts.

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