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Role of β-Catenin Activation Levels and Fluctuations in Controlling Cell Fate

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Article number176
Number of pages22
Issue number2
Early online date25 Feb 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 18 Feb 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 25 Feb 2019
DatePublished (current) - Feb 2019


Cells have developed numerous adaptation mechanisms to external cues by controlling signaling-pathway activity, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is a highly conserved signaling pathway involved in many biological processes, including cell proliferation, differentiation, somatic cell reprogramming, development, and cancer. The activity of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and the temporal dynamics of its effector β-catenin are tightly controlled by complex regulations. The latter encompass feedback loops within the pathway (e.g., a negative feedback loop involving Axin2, a β-catenin transcriptional target) and crosstalk interactions with other signaling pathways. Here, we provide a review shedding light on the coupling between Wnt/β-catenin activation levels and fluctuations across processes and cellular systems; in particular, we focus on development, in vitro pluripotency maintenance, and cancer. Possible mechanisms originating Wnt/β-catenin dynamic behaviors and consequently driving different cellular responses are also reviewed, and new avenues for future research are suggested.

    Research areas

  • Cancer, Canonical Wnt pathway, Development, Pluripotency, Signaling dynamics, β-catenin

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    Licence: CC BY


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