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J Biol Chem. 1998 Sep 4;273(36):23169-75.

The alpha-chemokine, stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha, binds to the transmembrane G-protein-coupled CXCR-4 receptor and activates multiple signal transduction pathways.

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  • 1Divisions of Experimental Medicine, and Hematology/Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


The alpha-chemokine stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1alpha binds to the seven transmembrane G-protein-coupled CXCR-4 receptor and acts to modulate cell migration and proliferation. The signaling pathways that mediate the effects of SDF-1alpha are not well characterized. We studied events following SDF-1alpha binding to CXCR-4 in a model murine pre-B cell line transfected with human CXCR-4. There was enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation and association of components of focal adhesion complexes such as the related adhesion focal tyrosine kinase, paxillin, and Crk. We also observed activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Wortmannin, a selective inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, partially inhibited the SDF-1alpha-induced migration and tyrosine phosphorylation of paxillin. SDF-1alpha treatment selectively activated p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (Erk 1 and Erk 2) and its upstream kinase mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase but not p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, c-Jun amino-terminal kinase or mitogen activated protein kinase kinase. We also observed that SDF-1alpha treatment increased NF-kappaB activity in nuclear extracts from the CXCR-4 transfectants. Taken together, these studies revealed that SDF-1alpha activates distinct signaling pathways that may mediate cell growth, migration, and transcriptional activation.

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