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Endocr Rev. 2016 Jun;37(3):254-77. doi: 10.1210/er.2015-1146. Epub 2016 May 9.

Current Understanding on Role of the Wnt Signaling Pathway Effector TCF7L2 in Glucose Homeostasis.

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Division of Advanced Diagnostics, Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada.


The role of the Wnt signaling pathway in metabolic homeostasis has drawn our intensive attention, especially after the genome-wide association study discovery that certain polymorphisms of its key effector TCF7L2 are strongly associated with the susceptibility to type 2 diabetes. For a decade, great efforts have been made in determining the function of TCF7L2 in various metabolic organs, which have generated both considerable achievements and disputes. In this review, I will briefly introduce the canonical Wnt signaling pathway, focusing on its effector β-catenin/TCF, including emphasizing the bidirectional feature of TCFs and β-catenin post-translational modifications. I will then summarize the observations on the association between TCF7L2 polymorphisms and type 2 diabetes risk. The main content, however, is on the intensive functional exploration of the metabolic role of TCF7L2, including the disputes generated on determining its role in the pancreas and liver with various transgenic mouse lines. Finally, I will discuss those achievements and disputes and present my future perspectives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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