Wnt signaling in skin development, homeostasis, and disease.

TitleWnt signaling in skin development, homeostasis, and disease.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLim X, Nusse R
JournalCold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
Date Published2013 Feb 1
AbstractThe skin and its appendages constitute the largest organ of the body. Its stratified epithelia offer protection from environmental stresses such as dehydration, irradiation, mechanical trauma, and pathogenic infection, whereas its appendages, like hair and sebaceous glands, help regulate body temperature as well as influence animal interaction and social behavior through camouflage and sexual signaling. To respond to and function effectively in a dynamic external environment, the skin and its appendages possess a remarkable ability to regenerate in a carefully controlled fashion. When this finely tuned homeostatic process is disrupted, skin diseases such as cancers may result. At present, the molecular signals that orchestrate cell proliferation, differentiation, and patterning in the skin remain incompletely understood. It is increasingly apparent that many morphogenetic pathways with key roles in development are also important in regulating skin biology. Of these, Wnt signaling has emerged as the dominant pathway controlling the patterning of skin and influencing the decisions of embryonic and adult stem cells to adopt the various cell lineages of the skin and its appendages, as well as subsequently controlling the function of differentiated skin cells. Here we will review established concepts and present recent advances in our understanding of the diverse roles that Wnt signaling plays in skin development, homeostasis, and disease.
Short TitleCold Spring Harb Perspect Biol