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Curr Biol. 2004 Mar 9;14(5):439-45.

CNK2 couples NGF signal propagation to multiple regulatory cascades driving cell differentiation.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9039, USA.


Neuronal precursor cells have the capacity to engage the Raf-MEK-ERK signal module to drive either of two distinctly different regulatory programs, proliferation and differentiation. This is, at least in part, a consequence of stimulus-specific shaping of the kinase cascade response. For example, the mitogen EGF induces a transient ERK activation, whereas the neurotrophin NGF induces prolonged ERK activation. Here we define a novel component of the regulatory machinery contributing to the selective integration of MAP kinase signaling with discrete biological responses. We show that the scaffold/adaptor protein CNK2/MAGUIN-1 is required for NGF- but not EGF-induced ERK activation. In addition, CNK2 makes a separate, essential contribution to the coupling of NGF signaling to membrane/cytoskeletal remodeling. We propose that CNK2 integrates multiple regulatory pathways that must function in concert to drive an appropriate biological response to external stimuli.

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