My laboratory recently demonstrated that there is selective expression of phosphoribosomal S6 protein in balloon cells in focal cortical dysplasia and hemimegalencephaly but no expression of the upstream kinase, phospho-p70S6 kinase. Two proteins activated by phospho-p70S6 kinase, phospho-STAT3 and phospho-4EBP1, were not detected in balloon cells. Using complementary DNA arrays in hemimegalencephaly specimens, we found increased expression of cyclin D1 and c-myc messenger ribonucleic acids (RNAs). Expression of cyclin D1 and c-myc genes is transcriptionally activated by beta-catenin. Western analysis demonstrated increased levels of nonphosphorylated beta-catenin in hemimegalencephalic cortex. Reduced levels of Ser33, Ser37, and Thr41 phospho-beta-catenin, sites known to be phosphorylated by glycogen synthase kinase 3 and to be essential for beta-catenin inactivation, were detected in hemimegalencephaly. Enhanced transcription of cyclin D1 and c-myc messenger RNAs, increased transcriptionally active beta-catenin, and decreased Ser33/Ser37/Thr41 phospho-beta-catenin suggest activation of the Wnt-1/beta-catenin cascade in hemimegalencephaly, which can lead to aberrant cell proliferation and hemispheric enlargement during brain development. Enhanced activation of phospho-S6 and beta-catenin suggests two converging cell pathways that can be pivotal in the pathogenesis of focal cortical dysplasia and hemimegalencephaly.