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Carcinogenesis. 2013 Dec;34(12):2880-90. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgt238. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

Expression of a phosphorylated substrate domain of p130Cas promotes PyMT-induced c-Src-dependent murine breast cancer progression.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA.

Abstract

Elevated expression of p130Cas (Crk-associated substrate)/BCAR1 (breast cancer antiestrogen resistance 1) in human breast tumors is a marker of poor prognosis and poor overall survival. p130Cas is a downstream target of the tyrosine kinase c-Src. Signaling mediated by p130Cas through its phosphorylated substrate domain (SD) and interaction with effector molecules directly promotes tumor progression. We previously developed a constitutively phosphorylated p130Cas SD molecule, Src*/SD (formerly referred to as Src*/CasSD), which acts as decoy molecule and attenuates the transformed phenotype in v-crk-transformed murine fibroblasts and human breast cancer cells. To test the function of this molecule in vivo, we established mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-long terminal repeat-Src*/SD transgenic mice in which mammary gland development and tumor formation were analyzed. Transgenic expression of the Src*/SD molecule under the MMTV-long terminal repeat promoter did not interfere with normal mammary gland development or induce tumors in mice observed for up to 11 months. To evaluate the effects of the Src*/SD molecule on tumor development in vivo, we utilized the MMTV-polyoma middle T-antigen (PyMT) murine breast cancer model that depends on c-Src. PyMT mice crossed with Src*/SD mice displayed accelerated tumor formation. The earlier onset of tumors can be explained by the interaction of the Src* domain with PyMT and targeting the fused phosphorylated SD to the membrane. At membrane compartments, it might integrate membrane-associated active signaling complexes leading to increased proliferation measured by phospho-Histone H3 staining. Although these results were unexpected, they emphasize the importance of preventing the membrane association of Src*/SD when employed as decoy molecule.

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