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J Biol Chem. 2001 Mar 9;276(10):7327-36. Epub 2000 Nov 17.

CD44 interaction with c-Src kinase promotes cortactin-mediated cytoskeleton function and hyaluronic acid-dependent ovarian tumor cell migration.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Miami, Florida 33101, USA.


In this study we have demonstrated that both CD44 (the hyaluronan (HA) receptor) and c-Src kinase are expressed in human ovarian tumor cells (SK-OV-3.ipl cell line), and that these two proteins are physically associated as a complex in vivo. Using a recombinant cytoplasmic domain of CD44 and an in vitro binding assay, we have detected a specific interaction between CD44 and c-Src kinase. Furthermore, the binding of HA to SK-OV-3.ipl cells promotes c-Src kinase recruitment to CD44 and stimulates c-Src kinase activity, which, in turn, increases tyrosine phosphorylation of the cytoskeletal protein, cortactin. Subsequently, tyrosine phosphorylation of cortactin attenuates its ability to cross-link filamentous actin in vitro. In addition, transfection of SK-OV-3.ipl cells with a dominant active form of c-Src (Y527F)cDNA promotes CD44 and c-Src association with cortactin in membrane projections, and stimulates HA-dependent/CD44-specific ovarian tumor cell migration. Finally, overexpression of a dominant-negative mutant of c-Src kinase (K295R) in SK-OV-3.ipl cells impairs the tumor cell-specific phenotype. Taken together, these findings strongly suggest that CD44 interaction with c-Src kinase plays a pivotal role in initiating cortactin-regulated cytoskeleton function and HA-dependent tumor cell migration, which may be required for human ovarian cancer progression.

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