Activation of EphA2 kinase suppresses integrin function and causes focal-adhesion-kinase dephosphorylation.
Interactions between receptor tyrosine kinases of the Eph family and their ligands, ephrins, are implicated in establishment of organ boundaries and repulsive guidance of cell migration during development, but the mechanisms by which this is achieved are unclear. Here we show that activation of endogenous EphA2 kinase induces an inactive conformation of integrins and inhibits cell spreading, migration and integrin-mediated adhesion. Moreover, EphA2 is constitutively associated with focal-adhesion kinase (FAK) in resting cells. Within one minute after stimulation of EphA2 with its ligand, ephrin-A1, the protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 is recruited to EphA2; this is followed by dephosphorylation of FAK and paxillin, and dissociation of the FAK-EphA2 complex. We conclude that Eph kinases mediate some of their functions by negatively regulating integrins and FAK.