Wnt in Human Genetic DiseasesWnt in MouseWnt in FlyWnt in ZebrafishWnt in Cancer

Acting as intercellular signals, Wnt proteins regulate the proliferation of cells. Wnt signals are active in numerous contexts, initially in early development and later during the growth and maintenance of various tissues. In comparison to other growth factors, Wnt signals have  several unique properties, including a short range of action. Thereby, Wnts predominantly mediate signaling locally, between neighboring  cells. In addition, Wnt signals give shape to tissues as cells are proliferating. This is a consequence of the ability of Wnt signaling to confer polarity and asymmetry to cells. Wnt proteins are highly conserved in evolution and are active in every branch of the animal kingdom.

Wnt signaling is often implicated in stem cell control, as a proliferative and self-renewal signal. Mutations in Wnt genes or Wnt pathway components lead to specific developmental defects, while various human diseases, including cancer, are caused by abnormal Wnt signaling. 


Insights into the mechanisms of Wnt action have emerged from several systems: genetics in Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans; biochemistry in cell culture and ectopic gene expression in Xenopus embryos.  As currently understood, Wnt proteins bind to receptors of the Frizzled and LRP families on the cell surface. Through several cytoplasmic relay components, the signal is transduced to ß-catenin, which enters the nucleus and forms a complex with TCF to activate transcription of Wnt target genes.

This website serves as a resource for members of the Wnt community, providing information on progress in the field, maps on signaling pathways, and methods. The page on reagents lists many resources generously made available to and by the Wnt community. 

Wnt signaling is discussed in many reviews, listed here.  Here some reviews on the history of the field. 

Wnt meetings are announced here, with a 2024 meeting in Heidelberg, September 25-27

Wnt signaling components

Wnt proteins and genes 

Frizzled, SFRP




Other receptors/LRP




Other genes

Wnt Target genes

Diseases/Other systems

Methods, Reagents


Diagrams of Wnt signaling events


Wnt signaling (overview)

wnt secretion

Wnt secretion


Wnt receptors


destruction complex


The destruction complex


Nuclear events


Wnt signaling in cancer

protein interactions

Protein interactions 

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Wnt Signaling DiagramProtein InteractionsWnt in CancerTwo-state modelWnt-Hedgehog ComparisonMultiple Wnt Receptors