Editors' ChoiceCell Biology

Dissecting Wnt Signaling

Sci. Signal.  11 Dec 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 254, pp. ec319
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003850

The Wnt signaling pathway plays a key role in regulating a broad range of functions from development to cancer. But a precise understanding of how Wnt proteins act through their receptors (Frizzled proteins) has been elusive. By paring the system down to its core reactions and performing kinetic analysis in cultured cells, Hernández et al. deduced the mechanism of Wnt action without invoking any previous assumptions. Such quantitative analysis of mass balance may offer a way to identify essential control points in other complicated signaling systems and thus help define targets for therapeutic intervention.

A. R. Hernández, A. M. Klein, M. W. Kirschner, Kinetic responses of β-catenin specify the sites of Wnt control. Science 338, 1337–1340 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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