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Cell Adh Migr. 2010 Jul-Sep;4(3):333-6. Epub 2010 Jul 5.

Cdk5: A regulator of epithelial cell adhesion and migration.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Biology, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Cell adhesion is a fundamental property of epithelial cells required for anchoring, migration and survival. During cell migration, the formation and disruption of adhesion sites is stringently regulated by integration of multiple, sequential signals acting in distinct regions of the cell. Recent findings implicate cyclin dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in the signaling pathways that regulate cell adhesion and migration of a variety of cell types. Experiments with epithelial cell lines indicate that Cdk5 activity exerts its effects by limiting Src activity in regions where Rho activity is required for stress fiber contraction and by phosphorylating the talin head to stabilize nascent focal adhesions. Both pathways regulate cell migration by increasing adhesive strength.

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