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Oncogene. 2006 Dec 4;25(57):7545-53.

The ups and downs of Wnt signaling in prevalent neurological disorders.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile.


In order to function properly, the brain must be wired correctly during critical periods in early development. Mistakes in this process are hypothesized to occur in disorders like autism and schizophrenia. Later in life, signaling pathways are essential in maintaining proper communication between neuronal and non-neuronal cells, and disrupting this balance may result in disorders like Alzheimer's disease. The Wnt/beta-catenin pathway has a well-established role in cancer. Here, we review recent evidence showing the involvement of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in neurodevelopment as well as in neurodegenerative diseases. We suggest that the onset/development of such pathological conditions may involve the additive effect of genetic variation within Wnt signaling components and of molecules that modulate the activity of this signaling cascade.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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