HGF-induced serine 897 phosphorylation of EphA2 regulates epithelial morphogenesis of MDCK cells in 3D culture

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Expression of EphA2 is upregulated in various cancers that are derived from epithelial cells and correlates with the ability of a cancer cell to undergo migration and invasion. Here we have investigated the role of EphA2 in the epithelial morphogenesis of Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells in three-dimensional culture. We show that EphA2 is phosphorylated on serine residue 897 through hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) stimulation using a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt-dependent mechanism and that this phosphorylation is required for the formation of extensions, the first step of tubulogenesis, in MDCK cysts. By contrast, stimulation using the ligand ephrinA1 dephosphorylates EphA2 on serine residue 897 and suppresses the HGF-induced morphological change. Furthermore, activation of the small GTPase RhoG is involved in the HGF-induced formation of extensions downstream of EphA2. These observations suggest that a ligand-independent activity of EphA2 contributes to epithelial morphogenesis.


  • Journal of Cell Science

    Journal of Cell Science 128(10), 1912-1921, 2015-05-15

    Company of Biologists Ltd


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