Wnt-11 belongs to the Wnt family of secreted, highly conserved, cell signaling molecules that play important roles in vertebrate development. Studies suggest that Wnt-11 may be involved in heart development. Wnt-11 activation of cardiogenesis was shown to require non-canonical Wnt signaling pathways. Wnt-11 signaling has also been found to promote cell viability of CHO-K1 cells. Additional research reported that Wnt-5a and Wnt-11 have opposing effects on type II collagen expression by chondrocytes, an effect which is dependent on signaling through distinct non-canonical Wnt pathways. Mouse Wnt-11 shares 97% amino acid (aa) sequence identity with its human and rat homologs.
The Wnts make up a large family of secreted proteins with roles in pattern formation, cell fate decision, axon guidance, and tumor formation. Wnt family members vary in length between 350 and 400 aa, possess 22 to 24 conserved cysteines, are highly hydrophobic, and show 20 - 85% aa identity within the Wnt family. In general, there are three signaling pathways associated with Wnt-receptor interaction. The first is commonly called the canonical pathway and ultimately culminates in beta-Catenin accumulation and TCF/LEF-1-mediated gene transcription. The other two less well-defined non-canonical pathways include the Wnt/Ca2+ pathway and the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway.