Molecular strategies for modulating wnt signaling

Carl T. Gustafson, Tewodros Mamo, Avudaiappan Maran, Michael J. Yaszemski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The importance of the Wnt signaling cascade in the fields of developmental biology, regenerative medicine, cancer genetics, and neurobiology has fueled a wide search for potent pharmacological agents capable of controlling Wnt signaling. Numerous fields of study have lent assistance to this endeavor, yielding both natural and synthetic compounds that are capable of inducing or inhibiting Wnt at multiple stages within the pathway. Further, there is a large of body research which has investigated endogenous Wnt inducers and inhibitors, namely the secreted Wnts, Dickkof proteins (Dkks), secreted Frizzled-Related Proteins (sFRPs), and Wnt Inhibitory Factor-1 (WIF-1), along with others which may act via indirect means to stimulate or inhibit Wnt (e.g. the Smads, bone morphogenetic proteins, and Hedgehog proteins). This review will summarize the research surrounding currently available small molecules used to target Wnt signaling. These compounds will be classified based upon their ability to stimulate or inhibit Wnt, their derivation (natural or synthetic), and their specific mechanism of action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-156
Number of pages20
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience - Landmark
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Beta-catenin
  • Canonical signaling
  • Non-canonical signaling
  • Review
  • Small molecule
  • Wnt pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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