Wnt acylation and its functional implication in Wnt signalling regulation

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Wnt proteins are conserved signalling molecules that have an essential role in regulating diverse processes during embryogenesis and adult tissue homoeostasis. Wnts are post-translationally modified by palmitoylation, which is essential for Wnt secretion and function. Intriguingly, the crystal structure of XWnt8 in complex with the extracellular domain of the Frizzled 8 cysteine-rich domain (Fzd8-CRD) revealed that Wnts use the fatty acid as a 'hotspot' residue to engage its receptor, which is a unique mode of receptor-ligand recognition. In addition, there are several lines of evidence suggesting that Wnts engage several signalling modulators and alternative receptors by means of fatty acids as a critical contact residue. In the present article, we review our current understanding of Wnt acylation and its functional role in Wnt signalling regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalBiochem Soc Trans
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acylation
  • Frizzled
  • SFRP
  • WIF
  • Wnt


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