The homeodomain transcription factor Pdx-1 has important roles in pancreatic development and β-cell function and survival. In the present study, we demonstrate that adenovirus-mediated overexpression of Pdx-1 in rat or human islets also stimulates cell replication. Moreover, cooverexpression of Pdx-1 with another homeodomain transcription factor, Nkx6.1, has an additive effect on proliferation compared to either factor alone, implying discrete activating mechanisms. Consistent with this, Nkx6.1 stimulates mainly β-cell proliferation, whereas Pdx-1 stimulates both α- and β-cell proliferation. Furthermore, cyclins D1/D2 are upregulated by Pdx-1 but not by Nkx6.1, and inhibition of cdk4 blocks Pdx-1-stimulated but not Nkx6.1-stimulated islet cell proliferation. Genes regulated by Pdx-1 but not Nkx6.1 were identified by microarray analysis. Two members of the transient receptor potential cation (TRPC) channel family, TRPC3 and TRPC6, are upregulated by Pdx-1 overexpression, and small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of TRPC3/6 or TRPC6 alone inhibits Pdx-1-induced but not Nkx6.1-induced islet cell proliferation. Pdx-1 also stimulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation, an effect partially blocked by knockdown of TRPC3/6, and blockade of ERK1/2 activation with a MEK1/2 inhibitor partially impairs Pdx-1-stimulated proliferation. These studies define a pathway by which overexpression of Pdx-1 activates islet cell proliferation that is distinct from and additive to a pathway activated by Nkx6.1.