Research ArticleBone

Wnt1 is an Lrp5-independent bone-anabolic Wnt ligand

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Science Translational Medicine  07 Nov 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 466, eaau7137
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau7137

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Building bone

Wnt signaling is important for proper embryonic development, shaping cell fate and migration, stem cell renewal, and organ and tissue formation. Here, Luther et al. investigated the role of Wnt1 in osteoporosis. Patients with early-onset osteoporosis and with WNT1 mutations had low bone turnover and high fracture rates, and loss of Wnt1 activity caused fracture and osteoporosis in mice. Inducing Wnt1 in bone-forming cells increased bone mass in aged mice, and this process did not require Lrp5, a co-receptor involved in Wnt signaling. This study identifies Wnt1 as an anabolic (bone building) factor and suggests that it might be a therapeutic target for osteoporosis.