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Canonical Wnt/b-catenin Signaling

Randall T. Moon*

Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195 USA

*Contact information. E-mail, rtmoon{at}

Animation Version 2. Canonical Wnt/b-catenin (b-Cat) signaling. In the absence of Wnt, b-Cat is degraded by a ubiquitin (u)-proteasome process following phosphorylation by glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3). Wnt binding to its receptor Frizzled activates Dishevelled (Dsh), which inhibits GSK-3 allowing b-Cat to accumulate and translocate to the nucleus where it stimulates transcription by interacting with transcription factors of the TCF family.

Animation by: Cameron Slayden

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Technical Details

Format: Shockwave Flash Object (swf file)

Size: 55 kb

Requirements: Macromedia Flash 5 or higher (

Previous Versions

Animation Version 1: Wnt/b-catenin Pathway. This first version of the Wnt signaling animation was created for Randall T. Moon and shows some of the molecular events associated with the Wnt pathway when Wnt is present and when Wnt is absent.

[Access Animation Version 1]

Erratum Animation Version 1: Version 1 of the animation originally had the title listed incorrectly as "Beta Catenin Signaling and Axis Specification", the link to version 1 of the animation above was updated 5 June 2003 and has the correct title "Wnt/b-catenin Pathway". The original animation with the incorrect title is available from


R. T. Moon, Wnt/b-catenin Pathway. Sci. STKE (Connections Map, as seen August 2003),;CMP_5531.


Citation: R. T. Moon, Canonical Wnt/b-catenin signaling. Sci. STKE (Supplement to Connections Maps, August 2003),;CMP_5533/DC3.

© 2003 American Association for the Advancement of Science

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Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882