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ß-catenin, Wnt and Dupuytren’s

Ultimately, Dupuytren’s has to do with cell signalling: normal cells are somehow instructed (“signalled”) to become abnormal, and adjacent cells interact with each other in a progression of abnormal changes. One of the many ways that cell signal each other is the Wnt signaling pathway, which involves a series of proteins which trigger cascades of events inside individual cells. One of these proteins is ß-catenin. ß-catenin is associated with some processes in which cells physically attach to each other. It can also affect the cell nucleus and activate specific genes. ß-catenin builds up abnormally in Dupuytren cells and may be part of the cause. What causes this? The Wnt pathway is a likely candidate: some ß-catenin interactions are involved in the Wnt pathway. However, this study appears to show that abnormal ß-catenin levels in Dupuytren cells are not due to effects of the Wnt pathway, which brings a better understanding of the biology: one suspect crossed off of the list: