Wnt and calcium signaling: beta-catenin-independent pathways

Cell Calcium. 2005 Sep-Oct;38(3-4):439-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ceca.2005.06.022.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Wnt Proteins / chemistry
  • Wnt Proteins / physiology*
  • beta Catenin / chemistry
  • beta Catenin / physiology*


  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin