Frizzled7: A promising achilles’ heel for targeting the Wnt receptor complex to treat cancer

Toby Phesse, Dustin Flanagan, Elizabeth Vincan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Frizzled7 is arguably the most studied member of the Frizzled family, which are the cognate Wnt receptors. Frizzled7 is highly conserved through evolution, from Hydra through to humans, and is expressed in diverse organisms, tissues and human disease contexts. Frizzled receptors can homo-or hetero-polymerise and associate with several co-receptors to transmit Wnt signalling. Notably, Frizzled7 can transmit signalling via multiple Wnt transduction pathways and bind to several different Wnt ligands, Frizzled receptors and co-receptors. These promiscuous binding and functional properties are thought to underlie the pivotal role Frizzled7 plays in embryonic developmental and stem cell function. Recent studies have identified that Frizzled7 is upregulated in diverse human cancers, and promotes proliferation, progression and invasion, and orchestrates cellular transitions that underscore cancer metastasis. Importantly, Frizzled7 is able to regulate Wnt signalling activity even in cancer cells which have mutations to down-stream signal transducers. In this review we discuss the various aspects of Frizzled7 signalling and function, and the implications these have for therapeutic targeting of Frizzled7 in cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number50
Number of pages33
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Cell signalling
  • Frizzled
  • Frizzled7
  • Fz7
  • FZD7
  • PCP
  • Receptor
  • Therapy
  • Wnt

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