RalA requirement for v-Src- and v-Ras-induced tumorigenicity and overproduction of urokinase-type plasminogen activator: involvement of metalloproteases

Oncogene. 1999 Aug 19;18(33):4718-25. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1202850.


Overproduction of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and metalloproteases (MMPs) is strongly correlated with tumorigenicity and with invasive and metastatic phenotypes of human and experimental tumors. We demonstrated previously that overproduction of uPA in tumor cells is mediated by a phospholipase D (PLD)- and protein kinase C-dependent mechanism. The oncogenic stimulus of v-Src and v-Ras results in the activation of PLD, which is dependent upon the monomeric GTPase RalA. We have therefore investigated whether RalA plays a role in uPA and MMP overproduction that is observed in response to oncogenic signals. We report here that NIH3T3 cells transformed by both v-Src and v-Ras, constitutively overproduce uPA and that expression of a dominant negative RalA mutant (S28N) blocks overproduction of uPA in both the v-Src-and v-Ras-transformed cells. v-Src and v-Ras also induced an upregulation of the activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 as detected by zymograms, however only the v-Src induction correlated with MMP protein levels detected by Western blot analysis. The dominant negative RalA mutant blocked increased MMP-2 and 9 overproduction induced by v-Src, but not the increased activity of MMP-2 and 9 induced by v-Ras. And, consistent with a role for the RalA/PLD pathway in mitogenesis and tumor development, the dominant negative RalA mutant completely blocked tumor formation by v-Src- and v-Ras-transformed NIH3T3 cells injected subcutaneously in syngeneic mice. The data presented here implicate RalA and PLD as signaling mediators for tumor formation and protease production by transformed cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Collagenases / biosynthesis
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / genetics*
  • Gelatinases / biosynthesis
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, ras*
  • Genes, src*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Metalloendopeptidases / biosynthesis*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mutation
  • Up-Regulation
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / biosynthesis*
  • ral GTP-Binding Proteins*


  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator
  • Collagenases
  • Gelatinases
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • RALA protein, human
  • Rala protein, mouse
  • ral GTP-Binding Proteins