Research ArticleCell Migration

Chemoattractant concentration–dependent tuning of ERK signaling dynamics in migrating neutrophils

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Science Signaling  13 Dec 2016:
Vol. 9, Issue 458, pp. ra122
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aag0486

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Tuning the ERK migration engine

The chemotaxis of neutrophils toward the source of the bacterial peptide fMLP is critical for the early immune response to infection. As they travel up a concentration gradient of fMLP, neutrophils switch from exhibiting directed migration to showing a circuitous movement. Zhang et al. used video microscopy to monitor neutrophil migration along a gradient of fluorescent fMLP and found that the switch in migration modes occurred at about 100 nM fMLP. This was also the position in the gradient at which the kinase ERK, which up to this point drove migration, became inhibited. Furthermore, this concentration of fMLP stimulated the activity of the kinase p38, which in turn inhibited ERK activity. Together, these data suggest that the fMLP concentration–dependent interplay between ERK and p38 activities controls neutrophil migration.

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