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J Biol Chem. 2001 Dec 21;276(51):47895-900. Epub 2001 Oct 17.

Protein kinase A regulates Rac and is required for the growth factor-stimulated migration of carcinoma cells.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Biology and Angiogenesis, Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Members of the Rho family of small GTPases, such as Rho and Rac, are required for actin cytoskeletal reorganization during the migration of carcinoma cells. Phosphodiesterases are necessary for this migration because they alleviate cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA)-mediated inhibition of RhoA (O'Connor, K. L., Shaw, L. M., and Mercurio, A. M. (1998) J. Cell Biol. 143, 1749-1760; O'Connor K. L., Nguyen, B.-K., and Mercurio, A. M. (2000), J. Cell Biol. 148, 253-258). In this study, we report that the migration of breast and squamous carcinoma cells toward either lysophosphatidic acid or epidermal growth factor involves not only phosphodiesterase activity but also cooperative signaling from PKA. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Rac1 activation in response to chemoattractant or beta(1) integrin clustering is regulated by PKA and that Rac1 is required for this migration. Also, we find that beta(1) integrin signaling stimulates the rapid and transient activation of PKA. A novel implication of these findings is that carcinoma cell migration is controlled by cAMP-dependent as well as cAMP inhibitory signaling mechanisms.

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