WNT signalling is an essential signalling pathway for all multicellular animals. Although first described more than 30 years ago, new components and regulators of the pathway are still being discovered. Considering its importance in both embryonic development and adult homeostasis, it is not surprising that this pathway is often deregulated in human diseases such as cancer. Recently, it became clear that in addition to cytoplasmic components such as β-catenin, other, membrane-bound or extracellular, components of the WNT pathway are also altered in cancer. This review gives an overview of the recent discoveries on WNT signalling events near the cell membrane. Furthermore, membrane-associated components of the WNT pathway, which are more accessible for therapeutic intervention, as well therapeutic approaches that already target those components will be discussed. In this way, we hope to stimulate the development of effective anti-cancer therapies that target this fascinating pathway.
LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed section on WNT Signalling: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v174.24/issuetoc.