Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 mediates migration of human colorectal carcinoma cells by activation of Src family kinases

Br J Cancer. 2006 Jun 5;94(11):1710-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6603143.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the predominant pro-angiogenic cytokine in human malignancy, and its expression correlates with disease recurrence and poor outcomes in patients with colorectal cancer. Recently, expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFRs) has been observed on tumours of epithelial origin, including those arising in the colon, but the molecular mechanisms governing potential VEGF-driven biologic functioning in these tumours are not well characterised. In this report, we investigated the role of Src family kinases (SFKs) in VEGF-mediated signalling in human colorectal carcinoma (CRC) cell lines. Vascular endothelial growth factor specifically activated SFKs in HT29 and KM12L4 CRC cell lines. Further, VEGF stimulation resulted in enhanced cellular migration, which was effectively blocked by pharmacologic inhibition of VEGFR-1 or Src kinase. Correspondingly, migration studies using siRNA clones with reduced Src expression confirmed the requirement for Src in VEGF-induced migration in these cells. Furthermore, VEGF treatment enhanced VEGFR-1/SFK complex formation and increased tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase, p130 cas and paxillin. Finally, we demonstrate that VEGF-induced migration is not due, at least in part, to VEGF acting as a mitogen. These results suggest that VEGFR-1 promotes migration of tumour cells through a Src-dependent pathway linked to activation of focal adhesion components that regulate this process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / enzymology
  • Adenocarcinoma / physiopathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Plasmids
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1 / physiology*
  • src-Family Kinases / genetics*
  • src-Family Kinases / metabolism*


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1
  • src-Family Kinases