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J Biol Chem. 2006 Feb 24;281(8):4771-8. Epub 2005 Dec 16.

Combined signaling through ERK, PI3K/AKT, and RAC1/p38 is required for met-triggered cortical neuron migration.

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Inserm UMR623, Developmental Biology Institute of Marseille (CNRS-INSERM-UniversitédelaMéditerranée), Campus de Luminy-Case 907, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France.


Cell migration is a complex biological process playing a key role in physiological and pathological conditions. During central nervous system development, positioning and function of cortical neurons is tightly regulated by cell migration. Recently, signaling events involving the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor, which is a key regulator for the activation of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), have been implicated in modulating cortical neuron migration. However, the intracellular pathways controlling neuronal migration triggered by the HGF receptor Met have not been elucidated. By combining pharmacological and genetic approaches, we show here that the Ras/ERK pathway and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) are both required for cortical neuron migration. By dissecting the downstream signals necessary for this event, we found that Rac1/p38 and Akt are required, whereas the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and mTOR/p70(s6k) pathways are dispensable. This study demonstrates that concomitant activation of the Ras/ERK, PI3K/Akt, and Rac1/p38 pathways is required to achieve full capacity of cortical neurons to migrate upon HGF stimulation.

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