The G12/13-RhoA signaling pathway contributes to efficient lysophosphatidic acid-stimulated cell migration

D. Bian, C. Mahanivong, J. Yu, S. M. Frisch, Z. K. Pan, R. D. Ye, S. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


The membrane redistribution and phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) have been reported to be important for cell migration. We previously showed that Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) induced FAK membrane redistribution and autophosphorylation in ovarian cancer SK-OV3 cells and the signaling pathway consisting of Gi-Ras-MEKK1 mediated LPA-induced FAK membrane redistribution but not FAK autophosphorylation. We also showed that the disruption of the Gi-Ras-MEKK1 pathway led to a significant reduction in LPA-stimulated cell migration. These findings raised the question of whether LPA-induced FAK autophosphorylation was required for LPA-stimulated cell migration and what signaling mechanism was involved in LPA-induced FAK autophosphorylation. In this study, we expressed the membrane anchored wild-type FAK (CD2-FAK) in SK-OV3 cells and found that the expression of CD2-FAK greatly rescued LPA-stimulated cell migration in Gi or Ras-inhibited cells. However, Gi inhibitor pertussis toxin or dominant-negative H-Ras still significantly inhibited LPA-stimulated cell migration in cells expressing the membrane anchored FAK containing a mutation in the autophosphorylation site [CD2-FAK(Y397A)]. These results suggest that FAK autophosphorylation plays a role in LPA-stimulated cell migration. With the aid of p115Rho-GEF-RGS, G 12 and G13 minigenes to inhibit G12/13, we found that the G12/13 pathway was required for LPA-induced FAK autophosphorylation and efficient cell migration. Moreover, LPA activated RhoA and Rho kinase (ROCK) in a G12/13-dependent manner and their activities were required for LPA-induced FAK autophosphorylation. However, Rho or ROCK inhibitors displayed no effect on LPA-induced FAK membrane redistribution although they abolished LPA-induced cytoskeleton reorganization. Our studies show that the G12/13-RhoA-ROCK signaling pathway mediates LPA-induced FAK autophosphorylation and contributes to LPA-stimulated cell migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2234-2244
Number of pages11
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 6 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell migration
  • FAK
  • LPA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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