Ligand for members of the frizzled family of seven transmembrane receptors. Can activate or inhibit canonical Wnt signaling, depending on receptor context. In the presence of FZD4, activates beta-catenin signaling. In the presence of ROR2, inhibits the canonical Wnt pathway by promoting beta-catenin degradation through a GSK3-independent pathway which involves down-regulation of beta-catenin-induced reporter gene expression. Suppression of the canonical pathway allows chondrogenesis to occur and inhibits tumor formation. Stimulates cell migration. Decreases proliferation, migration, invasiveness and clonogenicity of carcinoma cells and may act as a tumor suppressor. Mediates motility of melanoma cells. Required during embryogenesis for extension of the primary anterior-posterior axis and for outgrowth of limbs and the genital tubercle. Inhibits type II collagen expression in chondrocytes.
Expression is increased in differentiated thyroid carcinomas compared to normal thyroid tissue and anaplastic thyroid tumors where expression is low or undetectable. Expression is found in thyrocytes but not in stromal cells (at protein level).
Belongs to the Wnt family.
Palmitoylation is necessary for stimulation of cell migration, inhibition of the beta-catenin pathway and receptor binding. Glycosylation is necessary for secretion but not for activity.
Secreted > extracellular space > extracellular matrix.