A comparative perspective on Wnt/β-catenin signalling in cell fate determination

Clare L. Garcin, Shukry J. Habib*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is an ancient and highly conserved signalling pathway that plays fundamental roles in the regulation of embryonic development and adult homeostasis. This pathway has been implicated in numerous cellular processes, including cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, morphological changes and apoptosis. In this chapter, we aim to illustrate with specific examples the involvement of Wnt/β-catenin signalling in cell fate determination. We discuss the roles of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in specifying cell fate throughout evolution, how its function in patterning during development is often reactivated during regeneration and how perturbation of this pathway has negative consequences for the control of cell fate. The origin of all life was a single cell that had the capacity to respond to cues from the environment. With evolution, multicellular organisms emerged, and as a result, subsets of cells arose to form tissues able to respond to specific instructive signals and perform specialised functions. This complexity and specialisation required two types of messages to direct cell fate: intraand intercellular. A fundamental question in developmental biology is to understand the underlying mechanisms of cell fate choice. Amongst the numerous external cues involved in the generation of cellular diversity, a prominent pathway is the Wnt signalling pathway in all its forms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResults and Problems in Cell Differentiation
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages74
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameResults and Problems in Cell Differentiation
ISSN (Print)00801844
ISSN (Electronic)18610412


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