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pHocal adhesion kinase regulation is on a FERM foundation


Increases in intracellular pH (pHi) occur upon integrin receptor binding to matrix proteins and in tumor cells. In this issue, Choi et al. (2013. J. Cell Biol. show that pHi increase activates FAK by causing deprotonation of histidine 58 in its FERM (band 4.1, ezrin, radixin, moesin) homology domain, which exposes a region important for FAK autophosphorylation. This model of FAK activation could contribute to motility of tumor cells by promoting focal adhesion turnover.

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