Wnt/β-catenin signalling is central to development and its regulation is essential in preventing cancer. Using phosphorylation of Dishevelled as readout of pathway activation, we identified Drosophila Wnk kinase as a new regulator of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling. WNK kinases are known for regulating ion co-transporters associated with hypertension disorders. We demonstrate that wnk loss-of-function phenotypes resemble canonical Wnt pathway mutants, while Wnk overexpression causes gain-of-function canonical Wnt-signalling phenotypes. Importantly, knockdown of human WNK1 and WNK2 also results in decreased Wnt signalling in mammalian cell culture, suggesting that Wnk kinases have a conserved function in ensuring peak levels of canonical Wnt signalling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-725
Number of pages8
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Dishevelled
  • Drosophila
  • Gordon syndrome
  • Wnk kinase
  • Wnt signalling


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