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Dev Cell. 2006 Jun;10(6):707-18.

The G protein G alpha(13) is required for growth factor-induced cell migration.

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Department of Physiology, Weill Medical College, Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Heterotrimeric G proteins are critical cellular signal transducers. They are known to directly relay signals from seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to downstream effectors. On the other hand, receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), a different family of membrane receptors, signal through docking sites in their carboxy-terminal tails created by autophosphorylated tyrosine residues. Here we show that a heterotrimeric G protein, G alpha(13), is essential for RTK-induced migration of mouse fibroblast and endothelial cells. G alpha(13) activity in cell migration is retained in a C-terminal mutant that is defective in GPCR coupling, suggesting that the migration function is independent of GPCR signaling. Thus, G alpha(13) appears to be a critical signal transducer for RTKs as well as GPCRs. This broader role of G alpha(13) in cell migration initiated by two types of receptors could provide a molecular basis for the vascular system defects exhibited by G alpha(13) knockout mice.

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