The WNT-signaling pathway is involved in cellular and tissue functions that control such diverse processes as body axis patterning, cellular proliferation, differentiation, and life span. The long list of molecules that can participate or modify WNT signaling makes this pathway one of the most complex in cell biology. In bone tissues, WNT signaling is required for proper skeletal development, and human mutations in various components of the cascade revealed insights into pharmacologic targeting that can be harnessed to improve skeletal health. In particular, mutations in genes that code for the WNT-signaling inhibitor sclerostin or the WNT coreceptor lipoprotein receptor–related protein 5 have highlighted the potential therapeutic value of recapitulating those effects in patients with low bone mass. A constant challenge in this area is selectively modifying WNT components in the tissue of interest, as WNT has manifold effects in nearly every tissue.
- bone anabolics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology