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Nuclear Regulation of Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling: It’s a Complex Situation

Wnt/β-catenin Signaling in Tissue Self-Organization

Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
Green Center for Systems Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2020, 11(8), 939;
Received: 15 July 2020 / Revised: 10 August 2020 / Accepted: 11 August 2020 / Published: 14 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wnt Signaling in Development, Regeneration and Cancer)
Across metazoans, animal body structures and tissues exist in robust patterns that arise seemingly out of stochasticity of a few early cells in the embryo. These patterns ensure proper tissue form and function during early embryogenesis, development, homeostasis, and regeneration. Fundamental questions are how these patterns are generated and maintained during tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Though fascinating scientists for generations, these ideas remain poorly understood. Today, it is apparent that the Wnt/β-catenin pathway plays a central role in tissue patterning. Wnt proteins are small diffusible morphogens which are essential for cell type specification and patterning of tissues. In this review, we highlight several mechanisms described where the spatial properties of Wnt/β-catenin signaling are controlled, allowing them to work in combination with other diffusible molecules to control tissue patterning. We discuss examples of this self-patterning behavior during development and adult tissues’ maintenance. The combination of new physiological culture systems, mathematical approaches, and synthetic biology will continue to fuel discoveries about how tissues are patterned. These insights are critical for understanding the intricate interplay of core patterning signals and how they become disrupted in disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: Wnt; β-catenin; tissue patterning; tissue homeostasis; tissue organization; self-organization; reaction-diffusion; morphogens Wnt; β-catenin; tissue patterning; tissue homeostasis; tissue organization; self-organization; reaction-diffusion; morphogens
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pond, K.W.; Doubrovinski, K.; Thorne, C.A. Wnt/β-catenin Signaling in Tissue Self-Organization. Genes 2020, 11, 939.

AMA Style

Pond KW, Doubrovinski K, Thorne CA. Wnt/β-catenin Signaling in Tissue Self-Organization. Genes. 2020; 11(8):939.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pond, Kelvin W., Konstantin Doubrovinski, and Curtis A. Thorne 2020. "Wnt/β-catenin Signaling in Tissue Self-Organization" Genes 11, no. 8: 939.

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