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Exp Cell Res. 2001 Jul 1;267(1):144-51.

Stem cell factor-induced migration of mast cells requires p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activity.

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Department of Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, SE-751 85, Sweden.


Stem cell factor (SCF) can be considered a cardinal cytokine in mast cell biology as it affects mast cell differentiation, survival, and migration. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of two mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and p38, in SCF-induced cell migration. This was examined in mouse mast cells by using PD 098059 and SB203580, which are specific inhibitors of mitogen-induced extracellular kinase (MEK) and p38 MAP kinase, respectively. SCF induced a rapid and transient activation of ERK and p38 in a dose-dependent manner. Inhibition of p38 activity by SB203580 was paralleled with a marked reduction of migration toward SCF, whereas the effect of the MEK inhibitor was less pronounced. This is the first report of a physiological function of SCF-dependent activation of p38. Whether p38-mediated mast cell migration is a possible target for suppression of mast cell hyperplasia remains to be determined.

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