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J Cell Biol. 2001 Jan 8;152(1):97-110.

Targeting Pyk2 to beta 1-integrin-containing focal contacts rescues fibronectin-stimulated signaling and haptotactic motility defects of focal adhesion kinase-null cells.

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Department of Immunology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Focal adhesion kinase-null (FAK(-/-) fibroblasts exhibit morphological and motility defects that are reversed by focal adhesion kinase (FAK) reexpression. The FAK-related kinase, proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2), is expressed in FAK(-/-) cells, yet it exhibits a perinuclear distribution and does not functionally substitute for FAK. Chimeric Pyk2/FAK proteins were created and expressed in FAK(-/-) cells to determine the impact of Pyk2 localization to focal contacts. Whereas an FAK/Pyk2 COOH-terminal (CT) domain chimera was perinuclear distributed, stable expression of a Pyk2 chimera with the FAK-CT domain (Pyk2/FAK-CT) localized to focal contact sites and enhanced fibronectin (FN)-stimulated haptotactic cell migration equal to FAK-reconstituted cells. Disruption of paxillin binding to the FAK-CT domain (S-1034) inhibited Pyk2/FAK-CT localization to focal contacts and its capacity to promote cell motility. Paxillin binding to the FAK-CT was necessary but not sufficient to mediate the indirect association of FAK or Pyk2/FAK-CT with a beta 1-integrin-containing complex. Both FAK and Pyk2/FAK-CT but not Pyk2/FAK-CT S-1034 reconstituted FAK(-/-) cells, exhibit elevated FN-stimulated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) and c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) kinase activation. FN-stimulated FAK or Pyk2/FAK-CT activation enhanced both the extent and duration of FN-stimulated ERK2 activity which was necessary for cell motility. Transient overexpression of the FAK-CT but not FAK-CT S-1034 domain inhibited both FN-stimulated ERK2 and JNK activation as well as FN-stimulated motility of Pyk2/FAK-CT reconstituted cells. These gain-of-function studies show that the NH(2)-terminal and kinase domains of Pyk2 can functionally substitute for FAK in promoting FN-stimulated signaling and motility events when localized to beta-integrin-containing focal contact sites via interactions mediated by the FAK-CT domain.

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