Wnt-3a is a secreted protein that is necessary for proper embryonic development of the hippocampus, anterior-posterior patterning, somite development, and tailbud formation. It also promotes self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells, neural stem cells, and embryonic stem cells. The post-translational glycosylation and acylation of Wnts are essential for their efficient secretion and biological activity, respectively. Wnts bind to the cell surface Frizzled family receptors in conjunction with low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein family receptors (LRP5 or 6) resulting in the stabilization of intracellular beta-catenin levels. As intracellular beta-catenin levels rise, beta-catenin binds to TCF/LEF transcription factors leading to expression of Wnt target genes.