Receptor tyrosine kinases are regulators of diverse cellular functions including cell growth, cell survival, differentiation, locomotion, and morphogenesis. Activation of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A inhibits receptor tyrosine kinase-stimulated growth responses in a number of cell types. In this study, we investigated the consequences of elevated cAMP on growth factor-mediated keratinocyte migration and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 induction in a human keratinocyte cell line. We found that elevation of intracellular cAMP by forskolin abolishes epidermal growth factor (EGF)- or scatter factor/hepatocyte growth factor-dependent colony dispersion. Concentrations of forskolin that inhibit growth factor-induced motility also eliminate EGF- or scatter factor/hepatocyte growth factor-dependent induction of the 92-kDa gelatinase/MMP-9. In contrast to findings obtained in fibroblasts; elevated intracellular cAMP did not interfere with growth factor-dependent activation of the p42/44 extracellular signal-regulated kinases, indicating that cAMP-dependent inhibition of migration and MMP-9 induction does not occur through perturbation of the extracellular signal- regulated kinases/mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. However, forskolin effectively inhibited EGF-dependent activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38, demonstrating that cAMP selectively interferes with a different subset of growth factor-induced mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascades than reported previously in fibroblasts. These findings illustrate that EGF concurrently activates multiple mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascades in keratinocytes and suggests that each pathway contributes to maxi mal EGF-dependent migration and proteinase induction.