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Cell Adh Migr. 2012 May-Jun;6(3):168-72. doi: 10.4161/cam.20399. Epub 2012 May 1.

Emerging role of ILK and ELMO2 in the integration of adhesion and migration pathways.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Western Ontario, and Children's Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON Canada.


Integrins and their associated proteins are essential components of the cellular machinery that modulates adhesion and migration. In particular, integrin-linked kinase (ILK), which binds to the cytoplasmic tail of β1 integrins, is required for migration in a variety of cell types. We previously identified engulfment and motility 2 (ELMO2) as an ILK-binding protein in epidermal keratinocytes. Recently, we investigated the biological role of the ILK/ELMO2 complexes, and found that they exist in the cytoplasm. ILK/ELMO2 species are recruited by active RhoG to the plasma membrane, where they induce Rac1 activation and formation of lamellipodia at the leading edge of migrating cells. A large number of growth factors and cytokines induce keratinocyte migration. However, we found that formation of RhoG/ELMO2/ILK complexes occurs selectively upon stimulation by epidermal growth factor, but not by transforming growth factor-β1 or keratinocyte growth factor. Herein we discuss the relevance of these complexes to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in cell migration, as well as their potential functions in morphogenesis and tissue regeneration following injury.

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