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Exp Cell Res. 2010 Apr 1;316(6):980-91. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2010.01.024. Epub 2010 Feb 2.

Novel regulation and dynamics of myosin II activation during epidermal wound responses.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


Wound healing in the skin is an important and complex process that involves 3-dimensional tissue reorganization, including matrix and chemokine-triggered cell migration, paracrine signaling, and matrix remodeling. The molecular signals and underlying mechanisms that stimulate myosin II activity during skin wound healing have not been elucidated. To begin understanding the signaling pathways involved in the activation of myosin II in this process, we have evaluated myosin II activation in migrating primary human keratinocytes in response to scratch wounding in vitro. We report here that myosin II activation and recruitment to the cytoskeleton in wounded keratinocytes are biphasic. Post-wounding, a rapid phosphorylation of myosin II regulatory light chain (RLC) occurs with resultant translocation of myosin IIA to the cell cortex, far in advance of the later polarization and cell migration. During this acute-phase of myosin II activation, pharmacological approaches reveal p38-MAP kinase and cytosolic calcium as having critical roles in the phosphorylation driving cytoskeletal assembly. Although p38-MAPK has known roles in keratinocyte migration, and known roles in leading-edge focal complex dynamics, to our knowledge this is the first report of p38-MAPK acting as an upstream activator of myosin II phosphorylation and assembly during any type of wound response.

Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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