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Cell Signal. 2007 Dec;19(12):2479-86. Epub 2007 Aug 8.

The association of Sam68 with Vav1 contributes to tumorigenesis.

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The Hubert H. Humphrey Center for Experimental Medicine and Cancer Research, The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.


Vav1 functions in the hematopoietic system as a specific GDP/GTP nucleotide exchange factor regulated by tyrosine phosphorylation. An intact C-terminal SH3 domain of Vav1 (Vav1SH3C) was shown to be necessary for Vav1-induced transformation, yet the associating protein(s) necessary for this activity have not yet been identified. Using a proteomics approach, we identified Sam68 as a Vav1SH3C-associating protein. Sam68 (Src-associated in mitosis of 68 kD) belongs to the heteronuclear ribonucleoprotein particle K (hnRNP-K) homology (KH) domain family of RNA-binding proteins. The Vav1/Sam68 interaction was observed in vitro and in vivo. Mutants of Vav1SH3C previously shown to lose their transforming potential did not associate with Sam68. Co-expression of Vav1 and Sam68 in Jurkat T cells led to increased localization of Vav1 in the nucleus and changes in cell morphology. We then tested the contribution of Sam68 to known functions of Vav1, such as focus-forming in NIH3T3 fibroblasts and NFAT stimulation in T cells. Co-expression of oncogenic Vav1 with Sam68 in NIH3T3 fibroblasts resulted in a dose-dependent increase in foci, yet no further enhancement of NFAT activity was observed in Jurkat T cells, as compared to cells overexpressing only Vav1 or Sam68. Our results strongly suggest that Sam68 contributes to transformation by oncogenic Vav1.

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