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GIT1 is a novel MEK1–ERK1/2 scaffold that localizes to focal adhesions

Authors

  • Ning Zhang,

    1. The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Jiangsu 210029, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to the present study

  • Weihua Cai,

    1. The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Jiangsu 210029, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to the present study

  • Guoyong Yin,

    Corresponding author
    1. The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Jiangsu 210029, China
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  • David J. Nagel,

    1. Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, U.S.A.
    2. Department of Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, U.S.A.
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  • Bradford C. Berk

    1. Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, U.S.A.
    2. Department of Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, U.S.A.
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email Guoyong_Yin2005nanjing@yahoo.com

Abstract

Cell polarity is critical for cell migration and requires localized signal transduction in subcellular domains. Recent evidence demonstrates that activation of ERK1/2 (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2) in focal adhesions is essential for cell migration. GIT1 (G-protein-coupled receptor kinase-interacting protein 1) has been shown to bind paxillin and regulate focal-adhesion disassembly. We have previously reported that GIT1 binds to MEK1 [MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase)/ERK kinase 1] and acts as a scaffold to enhance ERK1/2 activation in response to EGF (epidermal growth factor). In the present study we show that GIT1 associates with ERK1/2 in focal adhesions and this association increases after EGF stimulation. The CC (coiled-coil) domain of ERK1/2 is required for association with GIT1, translocation to focal adhesions, and cell spreading and migration. Immunofluorescent staining showed that, after EGF stimulation, GIT1 co-localized with pERK1/2 (phosphorylated ERK1/2) in focal adhesions. The binding of GIT1 and ERK1/2 was functionally important, since transfecting an ERK2 mutant lacking the CC domain [ERK2(del CC)] significantly decreased pERK1/2 translocation to focal adhesions, cell spreading and migration induced by EGF. In summary, the CC domain of ERK1/2 is necessary for binding to GIT1, for ERK1/2 activation in focal adhesions, and for cell spreading and migration.

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