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Development. 2019 May 15;146(10). pii: dev176073. doi: 10.1242/dev.176073.

Mechanisms of intercellular Wnt transport.

Author information

1
Living Systems Institute, Biosciences, College of Life and Environmental Science, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QD, UK.
2
Living Systems Institute, Biosciences, College of Life and Environmental Science, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QD, UK s.scholpp@exeter.ac.uk.

Abstract

Wnt proteins are secreted glycoproteins that regulate multiple processes crucial to the development and tissue homeostasis of multicellular organisms, including tissue patterning, proliferation, cell fate specification, cell polarity and migration. To elicit these effects, Wnts act as autocrine as well as paracrine signalling molecules between Wnt-producing and Wnt-receiving cells. More than 40 years after the discovery of the Wg/Wnt pathway, it is still unclear how they are transported to fulfil their paracrine signalling functions. Several mechanisms have been proposed to mediate intercellular Wnt transport, including Wnt-binding proteins, lipoproteins, exosomes and cytonemes. In this Review, we describe the evidence for each proposed mechanism, and discuss how they may contribute to Wnt dispersal in tissue-specific and context-dependent manners, to regulate embryonic development precisely and maintain the internal steady state within a defined tissue.

KEYWORDS:

Cytoneme; Exosome; Secretion; Signal transduction; Wnt signalling; Wnt trafficking

PMID:
31092504
DOI:
10.1242/dev.176073
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Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsThe authors declare no competing or financial interests.

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