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Mech Dev 1999 May 01;831-2:27-37. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(99)00046-5.
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Dishevelled: at the crossroads of divergent intracellular signaling pathways.

Boutros M , Mlodzik M .

During the development of multicellular organisms the formation of complex patterns relies on specific cell-cell signaling events. For tissues to become spatially organized and cells to become committed to specialized fates it is absolutely crucial for proper development that the underlying signaling systems receive and route information correctly. Recently, a wealth of genetic and biochemical experimental data has been collected about prevalent evolutionary conserved signaling families, such as the Wnts, Dpp/BMPs, and Hedgehogs, in flies, worms, and vertebrates. Paradoxically, members of a particular signaling family often have receptors with similar biochemical binding properties, though they activate different intracellular pathways in vivo and can be phenotypically distinguished. How are their specific biological responses then generated? With respect to signaling specificity in Wnt pathways, Dishevelled is an intriguing protein; in Drosophila melanogaster it is required in two distinct signaling pathways, that share Frizzled receptors of similar structure, but have distinct intracellular signaling routes. Recent results suggest that Dishevelled is a multifunctional protein at the crossroads of divergent Wnt/Fz pathways. Dishevelled appears to be a key factor in Wnt signaling to read' signals coming from the plasma membrane and route them into the correct intracellular pathways.

PubMed ID: 10507837
Article link: Mech Dev

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: ctnnb1 dvl1 dvl2 fzd1 gsk3b tcf7 wnt1

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