Author(s): Rao TP, Khl M
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Abstract Growth factor signaling is required for cellular differentiation, tissue morphogenesis, and tissue homeostasis. Misregulation of intracellular signal transduction can lead to developmental defects during embryogenesis or particular diseases in the adult. One family of growth factors important for these aspects is given by the Wnt proteins. In particular, Wnts have important functions in stem cell biology, cardiac development and differentiation, angiogenesis, cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac failure, and aging. Knowledge of growth factor signaling during differentiation will allow for improvement of targeted differentiation of embryonic or adult stem cells toward functional cardiomyocytes or for understanding the basis of diseases. Our major aim here is to provide a state of the art review summarizing our present knowledge of the intracellular Wnt-mediated signaling network. In particular, we provide evidence that the subdivision into canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling pathways solely based on the identity of Wnt ligands or Frizzled receptors is not appropriate anymore. We thereby deliver a solid base for further upcoming articles of a review series focusing on the role of Wnt proteins on different aspects of cardiovascular development and dysfunction.
This article was published in Circ Res
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy