The function of endocytosis in Wnt signaling
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Springer Verlag for Birkhäuser Basel
© The Author(s) 2017. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Wnt growth factors regulate one of the most important signaling networks during development, tissue homeostasis and disease. Despite the biological importance of Wnt signaling, the mechanism of endocytosis during this process is ill described. Wnt molecules can act as paracrine signals, which are secreted from the producing cells and transported through neighboring tissue to activate signaling in target cells. Endocytosis of the ligand is important at several stages of action: One central function of endocytic trafficking in the Wnt pathway occurs in the source cell. Furthermore, the β-catenin-dependent Wnt ligands require endocytosis for signal activation and to regulate gene transcription in the responding cells. Alternatively, Wnt/β-catenin-independent signaling regulates endocytosis of cell adherence plaques to control cell migration. In this comparative review, we elucidate these three fundamental interconnected functions, which together regulate cellular fate and cellular behavior. Based on established hypotheses and recent findings, we develop a revised picture for the complex function of endocytosis in the Wnt signaling network.
Funding was provided by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Grant no. SCHO847-5) and the University of Exeter (GB) (LSI Start-up Grant).
This is the final version of the article. Available from Springer Verlag via the DOI in this record.
Published online 14 September 2017
- Biosciences 
Place of publication