During development neural progenitor cells migrate with extraordinary precision to inhabit tissues and organs far from their initial position. Little is known about the cellular basis for directional guidance by tyrosine kinase receptors (RTKs). RET is a RTK with important functions in guiding the migration of neuronal cells, and RET dysregulation leads to clinical disease such as agangliosis of the colon. We show here that RET migration in neuroepitheliomal and non-neuronal cells is elicited by the activation of specific signaling pathways initiated by the competitive recruitment of the FRS2 adaptor molecule to tyrosine 1062 (Y1062) in RET. FRS2 selectively recruited RET to focal complexes and led to activation of SRC family kinases and focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Activation of SRC depended on its direct interaction with RET at a different intracellular tyrosine (Y981) and activation of molecular signaling from these two separate sites in concert regulated migration. Our data suggest that an important function for FRS2 is to concentrate RET in membrane foci, leading to an engagement of specific signaling complexes localized in these membrane domains. J. Cell. Biochem. 104: 879–894, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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