Wnt Signaling pp 127-140 | Cite as

Monitoring Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling in Skin

  • Amy T. Ku
  • Qi Miao
  • Hoang NguyenEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1481)


Wnt signaling through β-catenin plays a crucial role in skin development and homeostasis. Disruption or hyperactivation of this pathway results in skin defects and diseases (Lim and Nusse, Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 5(2), 2013). Monitoring Wnt signaling in skin under normal and abnormal conditions is therefore critical to understand the role of this pathway in development and homeostasis.

In this chapter, we provide methods to detect Wnt/β-catenin (canonical) signaling in the skin. We present a comprehensive list of Wnt reporter mice and detail the processing of skin tissue to detect reporter genes. From this list, we focus on the three most recent lines that, according to reports, are the most sensitive in skin. Additionally, we describe a protocol to detect nuclear β-catenin, a hallmark of active Wnt signaling, although this technique should be used with caution due to its limited sensitivity. The techniques outlined below will be useful for detecting active Wnt signaling in skin.

Key words

Skin Epidermis Hair follicles Wnt reporter mice 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine CenterBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Cell and Gene TherapyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Interdepartmental Program in Translational Biology and Molecular MedicineBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Molecular and Cellular BiologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  5. 5.Department of DermatologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  6. 6.Program in Developmental BiologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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