Edited by: Eugene Russo and Steve Bunk
J. Behrens, J.P. von Kries, M. Kühl, L. Bruhn, D. Wedlich, R. Grosschedl, W. Birchmeier, "Functional interaction of ß-catenin with the transcription factor LEF-1," Nature, 382:638-42, 1996. (Cited in more than 285 papers since publication)

Comments by Walter Birchmeier, professor of cell biology, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany

In the tiny world of signaling pathways that carry biochemical reactions, the pathway of the gene wnt is vital to early organismal development. The gene's name is an abbreviation of "wingless-type," which refers to the fate of a fruit fly that suffers a specific mutation in this pathway. In humans, the wnt pathway controls development of numerous organs, including the brain, the peripheral nervous system, the limbs, and the kidney. It contains various oncogenes, such as wnt and myc (the latter is short for avian myelocytomatosis, a cancer principally...

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