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Cell Calcium. 2005 Sep-Oct;38(3-4):439-46.

Wnt and calcium signaling: beta-catenin-independent pathways.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Division of Hematology, Department of Pharmacology, and the Center for Developmental Biology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Box 357750, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


Wnt signaling is a complex pathway in which beta-catenin is typically viewed as a central mediator. However, within the past 15 years, at least three Wnt-mediated pathways have been proposed that function independent of beta-catenin. One pathway involves activation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CamKII) and protein kinase C (PKC). Another includes recruitment of heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins to activate phospholipase C (PLC) and phosphodiesterase (PDE). Lastly, a pathway similar to the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway in Drosophila has been identified that activates the Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) and, perhaps, small GTP-binding proteins. Calcium has been implicated as an important second messenger in all of these pathways. This review will focus on the role of calcium in Wnt signaling and, as a consequence, provide a limited overview of beta-catenin-independent Wnt signaling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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