G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) induce the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase by actions on any of a number of signal transduction systems. Previous studies have revealed that activation of the G(q)-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) induces phosphorylation of the MAP kinase extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) in cultured rat cortical astrocytes. We performed a series of studies to determine the mechanisms underlying mGluR5-induced phosphorylation of MAP kinase in these cells. Interestingly, our studies suggest that mGluR5-mediated ERK2 phosphorylation is dependent on the activation of G(alphaq) but is not mediated by the activation of phospholipase Cbeta1, activation of protein kinase C, or increases in intracellular calcium. Studies with peptide inhibitors suggest that this response is not dependent on G(betagamma) subunits. However, the activation of ERK2 was dependent on activation of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor and activation of a Src family tyrosine kinase. Furthermore, activation of mGluR5 induced an association of this receptor and the EGF receptor, suggesting the formation of a signaling complex involved in the activation of ERK2. These data suggest that mGluR5 increases ERK2 phosphorylation in astrocytes by a novel mechanism involving the activation of G(alphaq) and both receptor and nonreceptor tyrosine kinases but that is independent of the activation of phospholipase Cbeta1.