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The non-receptor tyrosine kinase PYK2 appears to function at a point of convergence of integrins and certain G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling cascades. In this study, we provide evidence that translocation of PYK2 to focal adhesions is triggered both by cell adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins and by activation of the histamine GPCR. By using different mutants of PYK2 as green fluorescent fusion proteins, we show that the translocation of PYK2 to focal adhesions is not dependent on its catalytic activity but rather is mediated by its carboxyl-terminal domain. Translocation of PYK2 to focal adhesions was attributed to enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of PYK2 and its association with the focal adhesion proteins paxillin and p130(Cas). Translocation of PYK2 to focal adhesions, as well as its tyrosine phosphorylation in response to histamine treatment, was abolished in the presence of protein kinase C inhibitors or cytochalasin D treatment, whereas activation of protein kinase C by phorbol ester resulted in focal adhesion targeting of PYR2 and its tyrosine phosphorylation in an integrin-clustering dependent manner. Overexpression of a wild-type PYK2 enhanced ERK activation in response to histamine, whereas a kinase-deficient mutant substantially inhibited this response. Furthermore, inhibition of PYK2 translocation to focal adhesions abolished ERK activation in response to histamine treatment. These results suggest that PYK2 apparently links between GPCRs and focal adhesion-dependent ERK activation and can provide the molecular basis underlying PYK2 function at a point of convergence between signaling pathways triggered by extracellular matrix proteins and certain GPCR agonists.


Litvak, V;  Tian, D;  Shaul, YD;  Lev, S

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