Role of epidermal growth factor receptor in basal and stimulated colonic epithelial cell migration in vitro

Andrew J. Wilson, Peter R. Gibson

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Colonic mucosal wounds are repaired, in part, by epithelial migration. Signaling mechanisms regulating this migration are poorly characterized. This study aimed to examine the role that the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGF-R) and its ligands, EGF and transforming growth factor-α (TGF- α), play in migration in wounded in vitro models of colonic epithelium. Migration was assessed over 24 h in circular wounds made in confluent monolayers of LIM1215 human colon cancer cells. EGF and TGF-α stimulated migration twofold from 4 h after wounding. Basal migration and the motogenic effects of short chain fatty acids and hepatocyte growth factor were mediated through enhanced binding of TGF-α to EGF-R, while trefoil peptide-mediated motogenesis required EGF-R activation independently of TGF-α binding. Activation of protein kinase C (PKC) stimulated migration, an effect more potent than, and independent of, EGF-R activation. However, neither inhibition of PKC by Ro 31-8220 nor depletion of PKC by pretreatement with phorbol myristate acetate attenuated EGF-R-mediated motogenesis. In conclusion, EGF-R activation via TGF-α binding, or intracellularly, mediates basal LIM1215 migration and the effects of several motogens, with the exception of PKC activators. Since EGF-R and PKC have physiological activators in vivo, they may control colonic mucosal repair processes following injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Colon
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor
  • Migration
  • Protein kinase C
  • Short chain fatty acids
  • Transforming growth factor-α

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