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Oncogene. 2001 Oct 1;20(44):6448-58.

Functions of the adapter protein Cas: signal convergence and the determination of cellular responses.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Box 800734, Charlottesville, Virginia VA 22908, USA.


Since Cas was first identified as a highly phosphorylated 130 kilodalton protein that associated with the v-Src and v-Crk-oncoproteins, considerable effort has been made to determine its function. Its predicted role as a scaffolding molecule based on its domain structure has been largely confirmed. Through its ability to undergo rapid changes in phosphorylation, subcellular localization and association with heterologous proteins, Cas may spatially and temporally regulate the function of its binding partners. Numerous proteins have been identified that bind to Cas in vitro and/or in vivo, but in only a few cases is there an understanding of how Cas may function in these protein complexes. To date, Cas-Crk and Cas-Src complexes have been most frequently implicated in Cas function, particularly in regards to processes involving regulation of the actin cytoskeleton and proliferation. These and other Cas protein complexes contribute to the critical role of Cas in cell adhesion, migration, proliferation and survival of normal cycling cells. However, under conditions in which these processes are deregulated, Cas appears to play a role in oncogenic transformation and perhaps metastasis. Therefore, in its capacity as an adapter protein, Cas serves as a point of convergence for many distinct signaling inputs, ultimately contributing to the generation of specific cellular responses.

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