Wnt11 belongs to the Wnt family of secreted glycoproteins, which is characterized by a conserved pattern of 22-24 cysteine residues. Wnt proteins are subdivided into two functional classes that are based upon their different biological effects. Members of the Wnt1/Wingless class transform C57MG cells and induce secondary axis formation in Xenopus. This effect is based on activation of the Wnt–β-catenin pathway, which involves the stabilization of cytoplasmic β-catenin and transcriptional regulation through the TCF/LEF transcription factors. Members of the Wnt5A class fail in both assays and activate non-canonical Wnt pathways. These involve different calcium-sensitive kinases like PKC, CamKII and JNK, as well as phosphatases such as CaCN (Wnt/calcium pathway). Members of the Rho class of GTPases, which includes Rho, Rac and Cdc42, are also regulated by non-canonical Wnt signaling. This non-canonical Wnt pathway involves dishevelled and is able to activate Rho kinase 2 (Rok2) in zebrafish, resembling the planar cell polarity pathway in Drosophila. Non-canonical Wnt pathways inhibit the canonical Wnt–β-catenin pathway. The specificity of Wnt signaling depends on the interaction of Wnt molecules with their Frizzled and LRP family receptors. In most cases, Wnt11 activates non-canonical Wnt pathways, however during dorsal axis formation in Xenopus, Wnt11 works through the canonical Wnt–β-catenin pathway. In Xenopus and zebrafish, two Wnt11 genes have been described. Wnt11 also exists in Nematostella vectensis.
Alternative names for this molecule:
HWNT11; Wingless-related MMTV integration site 11; Wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 11; Wnt-11; Wnt11