URL: Wnt Gene Database
Description: “Wnt proteins form a family of highly conserved secreted signaling molecules that regulate cell-to-cell interactions during embryogenesis. Wnt genes are also implicated in cancer. Insights into the mechanisms of Wnt action have emerged from several systems: genetics in Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans; biochemistry in cell culture; and ectopic gene expression in Xenopus embryos. Many Wnt genes in the mouse have been mutated, leading to very specific developmental defects. As currently understood, Wnt proteins bind to receptors of the Frizzled family on the cell surface. Through several cytoplasmic relay components, the signal is transduced to beta-catenin, which then enters the nucleus and forms a complex with TCF to activate transcription of Wnt target genes.”
The Wnt Gene Database is a comprehensive website offering a wealth of information on the Wnt pathway, from the Wnt genes that have been identified across a number of organisms, information on Wnt proteins and assays and available antibodies to these proteins, as well as information on signalling pathways, models and Wnt pathway target genes. This site offers links to 10 other sites and labs studying Wnt signalling.
Strengths: There are numerous strengths to this website. This website provides alignments for all the Wnt pathway genes. It provides a link to SOURCE, The Stanford Online Universal Resource for Clones and ESTs (SOURCE) which compiles information from several publicly accessible databases, including UniGene , dbEST , SwissProt , GeneMap99 , RHdb , GeneCards and LocusLink. Citations and links are given for all pertinent literature references. Another nice feature of this site is that it provides a link to “workers”—those labs that are studying Wnt signalling, and how to contact them. This site also provides very detailed pathway diagrams that allow the user to click on any protein in the pathway and link to a general description of the protein, literature references for that protein, and links to alignment if available.
Comprehensiveness: This is an extremely comprehensive site that provides extensive information on the Wnt pathway.
Timeliness: Excellent. I encountered no waiting.
Ease of Use: Very easy to navigate.
Overall Evaluation (1-5. 5 being best): 5