Ubiquitin-dependent degradation of active Src

Curr Biol. 1999 Sep 23;9(18):1039-42. doi: 10.1016/s0960-9822(99)80453-9.


Signaling by members of the Src family of protein tyrosine kinases, such as Src and Fyn, is important in many biological responses, including gene transcription, cell-cycle progression, and cell adhesion and spreading [1] [2]. Unregulated Src kinase activity has been implicated in the progression of colon cancer and transformation of cultured cells [3] [4] [5] [6]. Thus, precise regulation of Src activity is critical for normal cell growth. Src kinase activity is downregulated by the carboxy-terminal Src kinase (Csk), a tyrosine kinase that phosphorylates a conserved tyrosine residue in the carboxy-terminal tail of Src [7] [8]. When phosphorylated, this tyrosine residue mediates an intramolecular interaction that results in a 'closed' or inactive conformation [1] [2] [9] [10]. Here, we report that loss of csk resulted in a reduction in the abundance of the Src and Fyn proteins, which could be restored by reintroducing catalytically active Csk. The effect of Csk on Src expression was not due to an increase in Src message, but to stabilization of the Src protein. Inhibition of proteasome activity also increased the level of Src protein in csk-deficient cells. Src was found to be ubiquitinated, and activation of Src increased the extent of polyubiquitination. Thus, ubiquitin-proteasome-dependent degradation represents an additional mechanism by which active Src can be downregulated.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • CSK Tyrosine-Protein Kinase
  • Cell Line
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Humans
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism*
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fyn
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src) / chemistry
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src) / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src) / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Ubiquitins / physiology*
  • src-Family Kinases / deficiency
  • src-Family Kinases / genetics
  • src-Family Kinases / metabolism*
  • src-Family Kinases / physiology*


  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Ubiquitins
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • CSK Tyrosine-Protein Kinase
  • FYN protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fyn
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src)
  • src-Family Kinases
  • CSK protein, human
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex