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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2000 Sep;32(9):931-43.

Intracellular signaling events at the leading edge of migrating cells.

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Department of Anatomy, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, POB 1105 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway.


Cell migration is an important facet of the life cycle of immune and other cell types. A complex set of events must take place at the leading edge of motile cells before these cells can migrate. Chemokines induce the motility of various cell types by activating multiple intracellular signaling pathways. These include the activation of chemokine receptors, which are coupled to the heterotrimeric G proteins. The release of G beta gamma subunits from chemokine receptors results in the recruitment to the plasma membrane, with subsequent activation of various down-stream signaling molecules. Among these molecules are the pleckstrin homology domain-containing proteins and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase gamma which phosphorylates phospholipids and activates members of the GTP exchange factors (GEFs). These GEFs facilitate the exchange of GTP for GDP in members of GTPases. The latter are important for reorganizing the cell cytoskeleton, and in inducing chemotaxis. Chemokines also induce the mobilization of intracellular calcium from intracellular stores. Second messengers such as inositol 1,4,5 trisphosphate, and cyclic adenosine diphosphate ribose are among those induced by chemokines. In addition, the G beta gamma subunits recruit members of the G protein-coupled receptor kinases, which phosphorylate chemokine receptors, resulting in desensitization and termination of the motility signals. This review will discuss the intracellular signaling pathways induced by chemokines, particularly those activated at the leading edge of migrating cells which lead to cell polarization, cytoskeleton reorganization and motility.

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