A site-specific phosphorylation of the focal adhesion kinase controls the formation of spheroid cell clusters

Neurochem Res. 2014 Jul;39(7):1199-205. doi: 10.1007/s11064-014-1298-y. Epub 2014 Apr 5.


Human dental follicle cells (DFCs) are ectomesenchymal multipotent stem cells that form spheroid cell clusters (SCCs) under serum free medium cell culture conditions (SFM). Until today, molecular mechanisms for the formation of SCCs are unknown. In this study a quantitative phosphoproteomics approach revealed regulated phosphorylated proteins in SCCs, which were derived from DFCs after 24 and 48 h in SFM. These regulated proteins were categorized using the Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes program. Here, cellular processes and signaling pathway were identified such as the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling pathway. In addition to the phosphoproteomics approach we showed that a specific phosphorylation of FAK (Y397) was required for the formation of SCCs. In conclusion, this study disclosed the phosphoproteome of SCCs for the first time and showed that the FAK signaling pathway is required for the formation of SCCs.

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dental Sac / cytology
  • Dental Sac / enzymology
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation / physiology
  • Spheroids, Cellular / enzymology*


  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases