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J Cell Biochem. 2009 Jul 1;107(4):639-54. doi: 10.1002/jcb.22131.

Intestinal epithelial cancer cell anoikis resistance: EGFR-mediated sustained activation of Src overrides Fak-dependent signaling to MEK/Erk and/or PI3-K/Akt-1.

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Département d'Anatomie et de Biologie Cellulaire, Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada.


Herein, we investigated the survival roles of Fak, Src, MEK/Erk, and PI3-K/Akt-1 in intestinal epithelial cancer cells (HCT116, HT29, and T84), in comparison to undifferentiated and differentiated intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). We report that: (1) cancer cells display striking anoikis resistance, as opposed to undifferentiated/differentiated IECs; (2) under anoikis conditions and consequent Fak down-activation, cancer cells nevertheless exhibit sustained Fak-Src interactions and Src/MEK/Erk activation, unlike undifferentiated/differentiated IECs; however, HCT116 and HT29 cells exhibit a PI3-K/Akt-1 down-activation, as undifferentiated/differentiated IECs, whereas T84 cells do not; (3) cancer cells require MEK/Erk for survival, as differentiated (but not undifferentiated) IECs; however, T84 cells do not require Fak and HCT116 cells do not require PI3-K/Akt-1, in contrast to the other cells studied; (4) Src acts as a cornerstone in Fak-mediated signaling to MEK/Erk and PI3-K/Akt-1 in T84 cells, as in undifferentiated IECs, whereas PI3-K/Akt-1 is Src-independent in HCT116, HT29 cells, as in differentiated IECs; and (5) EGFR activity inhibition abrogates anoikis resistance in cancer cells through a loss of Fak-Src interactions and down-activation of Src/MEK/Erk (T84, HCT116, HT29 cells) and PI3-K/Akt-1 (T84 cells). Hence, despite distinctions in signaling behavior not necessarily related to undifferentiated or differentiated IECs, intestinal epithelial cancer cells commonly display an EGFR-mediated sustained activation of Src under anoikis conditions. Furthermore, such sustained Src activation confers anoikis resistance at least in part through a consequent sustenance of Fak-Src interactions and MEK/Erk activation, thus not only overriding Fak-mediated signaling to MEK/Erk and/or PI3-K/Akt-1, but also the requirement of Fak and/or PI3-K/Akt-1 for survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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