Epidermal growth factor-stimulated intestinal epithelial cell migration requires Src family kinase-dependent p38 MAPK signaling.J Biol Chem. 2004 Oct 22; 279(43):44513-21.JB
Members of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family of ligands and their receptors regulate migration and growth of intestinal epithelial cells. However, our understanding of the signal transduction pathways determining these responses is incomplete. In this study we tested the hypothesis that p38 is required for EGF-stimulated intestinal epithelial monolayer restitution. EGF-stimulated migration in a wound closure model required continuous presence of ligand for several hours for maximal response, suggesting a requirement for sustained signal transduction pathway activation. In this regard, prolonged exposure of cells to EGF activated p38 for up to 5 h. Furthermore genetic or pharmacological blockade of p38 signaling inhibited the ability of EGF to accelerate wound closure. Interestingly p38 inhibition was associated with increased EGF-stimulated ERK1/ERK2 phosphorylation and cell proliferation, suggesting that p38 regulates the balance of proliferation/migration signaling in response to EGF receptor activity. Activation of p38 in intestinal epithelial cells through EGF receptor was abolished by blockade of Src family tyrosine kinase signaling but not inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase or protein kinase C. Taken together, these data suggest that Src family kinase-dependent p38 activation is a key component of a signaling switch routing EGF-stimulated responses to epithelial cell migration/restitution rather than proliferation during wound closure.