Several mechanisms function in the endocytic regulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway to promote or interrupt the progression of critical cellular processes during embryonic development or disease progression. Endocytosis was initially associated with the formation of a morphogen gradient of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, but current studies have documented its role in defining signal intensity and propagation. Although the exact parameters that define and dictate the internalization of Wnt receptors and co-receptors via clathrin- or caveolae-mediated endocytosis remain unclear, new studies indicate that the trafficking of the signaling pool of the dual-function protein β-catenin from sites of cell-cell contacts serve as a mechanism to finely tune the outcome of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling. This review discusses the endocytic regulation of Wnt/ β-catenin signaling that occurs at the cell surface as well as within the cell.
Keywords: Endocytosis, Wnt, β-catenin, LRP6, cell adhesion, cell signaling, GTPases, transcription factor, endocytic portal, trafficking
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