Wnt signaling in the thymus

Frank J.T. Staal, Hans C. Clevers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Wnt proteins are secreted signaling molecules that regulate cell-to-cell interactions during embryogenesis in many different tissues and species. Wnt signaling is required for normal thymocyte development, most dramatically at the pro-T-cell stage, although recent reports also indicate a role for Wnt proteins in later stages of thymocyte differentiation. The Wnt cascade induces the interaction of the normally cytoplasmic cofactor β-catenin with the nuclear Tcf and Lef transcription factors. Active Wnt signaling is an absolute requirement for T-cell development, as demonstrated by the complete block in thymocyte development observed in the absence of Tcf1 and Lef1, or in the presence of extracellular Wnt inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-208
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


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