<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and Src are protein tyrosine kinases that physically and functionally interact to facilitate cancer progression by regulating oncogenic processes such as cell motility, survival, proliferation, invasiveness, and angiogenesis.</p> <p>Method</p> <p>To understand how FAK affects oncogenesis through the phosphorylation of cellular substrates of Src, we analyzed the phosphorylation profile of a panel of Src substrates in parental and v-Src-expressing FAK+/+ and FAK-/- mouse embryo fibroblasts, under conditions of anchorage-dependent (adherent) and -independent (suspension) growth.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Total Src-induced cellular tyrosine phosphorylation as well as the number of phosphotyrosyl substrates was higher in suspension versus adherent cultures. Although the total level of Src-induced cellular phosphorylation was similar in FAK+/+ and FAK-/- backgrounds, the phosphorylation of some substrates was influenced by FAK depending on adherence state. Specifically, in the absence of FAK, Src induced higher phosphorylation of p190RhoGAP, paxillin (poY118) and Crk irrespective of adhesion state, PKC-δ (poY311), connexin-43 (poY265) and Sam68 only under adherent conditions, and p56Dok-2 (poY351) and p120catenin (poY228) only under suspension conditions. In contrast, FAK enhanced the Src-induced phosphorylation of vinculin (poY100 and poY1065) and p130CAS (poY410) irrespective of adherence state, p56Dok-2 (poY351) and p120catenin (poY228) only under adherent conditions, and connexin-43 (poY265), cortactin (poY421) and paxillin (poY31) only under suspension conditions. The Src-induced phosphorylation of Eps8, PLC-γ1 and Shc (poY239/poY240) were not affected by either FAK or adherence status. The enhanced anchorage-independent growth of FAK-/-[v-Src] cells was selectively decreased by expression of paxillin<sup>Y118F</sup>, but not by WT-paxillin, p120catenin<sup>Y228F </sup>or Shc<sup>Y239/240F</sup>, identifying for the first time a role for paxillin<sup>poY118 </sup>in Src-induced anchorage-independent growth. Knockdown of FAK by siRNA in the human colon cancer lines HT-25 and RKO, resulted in increased paxillin<sup>poY118 </sup>levels under suspension conditions as well as increased anchorage-independent growth, supporting the notion that FAK attenuates anchorage-independent growth by suppressing adhesion-dependent phosphorylation of paxillin<sup>Y118</sup>.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>These data suggest that phosphorylation of Src substrates is a dynamic process, influenced temporally and spatially by factors such as FAK and adhesion.</p
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