Interactions Between Wingless and Frizzled Molecules in Drosophila
Over the past decade, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying growth and patterning of tissues has been enormously increased due to a convergence of the fields of developmental genetics and cancer research. Systematic screens in organisms such as Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans, and more recently the zebrafish have produced a wealth of genes and proteins that regulate development. At the same time, searches for genes implicated in cancer, either as dominant or as recessive (tumor suppressor) genes, have yielded an equally impressive list of important regulators of growth. There are now also numerous examples of genes found to control normal growth but to cause cancerous growth when misregulated. One of the best examples is the Wnt gene family. We will summarize our current view of how Wnt proteins signal, and the evidence that proteins of the Frizzled (Fz) family mediate Wnt signaling by acting as specific cell surface receptors.
KeywordsCysteine Valine Serpentine Caron Strabismus
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