Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2000 Jan 28;275(4):2390-8.

Epidermal growth factor receptor activation of calpain is required for fibroblast motility and occurs via an ERK/MAP kinase signaling pathway.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


To become migratory, cells must reorganize their connections to the substratum, and during locomotion they must break rear attachments. The molecular and biochemical mechanisms underlying these biophysical processes are unknown. Recent studies have implicated both extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein (ERK/MAP) kinase and calpain (EC in these processes, but it is uncertain whether these are two distinct pathways acting on different modes of motility. We report that cell deadhesion involved in epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor-mediated fibroblast motility requires activation of M-calpain downstream of ERK/MAP kinase signaling. NR6 fibroblasts expressing full-length wild type epidermal growth factor receptor required both calpain and ERK activation, as demonstrated by pharmacological inhibitors (calpeptin and calpain inhibitor I and PD98059, respectively) for EGF-induced deadhesion and motility. EGF induced rapid activation of calpain that was preventable by molecular inhibition of the Ras-Raf-MEK but not phospholipase Cgamma signaling pathway, and calpain was stimulated by transfection of constitutively active MEK. Enhanced calpain activity was not mirrored by increased calpain protein levels or decreased levels of its endogenous inhibitor calpastatin. The link between ERK/MAP kinase signaling and cell motility required the M-isoform of calpain (calpain II), as determined by specific antisense-mediated down-regulation. These data promote a previously undescribed signaling pathway of ERK/MAP kinases activating calpain to destabilize cell-substratum adhesions in response to EGF stimulation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk