Xiaofang Tang, Xiaolan Fan, Xinhua Lin
Journal name not available for this finding
Wnts are a family of signaling glycoproteins which play essential roles in many developmental processes and adult homeostasis. Misregulated Wnt signaling has been implicated in a variety of human diseases including cancers. The tight regulation of Wnt signaling is not only reflected by the diverse responses triggered in the Wnt-receiving cells, but also, as more recent work suggested, by the complex control on Wnt processing, secretion, and subsequent distribution. The characterization of the nature and roles of posttranslational modifications of Wnt molecules and the discovery of Wntless (Wls) and the retromer complex as novel and indispensable players in Wnt release have led to closer inspection of the Wnt secretory routes. Moreover, dissection of the functions of lipoproteins and heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) in Wnt diffusion shed new light on the mechanism of morphogen distribution. In this chapter, we will summarize the recent advances in the studies of Wnt processing, secretion, and spreading and discuss how these components are integrated into the regulating network of Wnt pathway.