The tyrosine kinase Abl is required for Src-transforming activity in mouse fibroblasts and human breast cancer cells

Oncogene. 2007 Nov 15;26(52):7313-23. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1210543. Epub 2007 May 28.


The cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase Src has been implicated in signal transduction induced by growth factors and integrins. Src also shows oncogenic activity when deregulated. Accumulating evidence indicates that the tyrosine kinase Abl is an important substrate for Src signalling in normal cells. Here we show that Abl is also required for Src-induced transformation of mouse fibroblasts. Abl does not mediate tyrosine phosphorylation of Stat3 and Shc, two important regulators of Src oncogenic activity. In contrast, Abl controls the activation of the small GTPase Rac for oncogenic signalling and active Rac partly rescued Src transformation in cells with inactive Abl. Moreover, Abl mediates Src-induced extracellular regulated kinase 5 (ERK5) activation to drive cell transformation. Finally, we find that Abl/Rac and Abl/ERK5 pathways also operate in human MCF7 and BT549 breast cancer cells, where neoplastic transformation depends on Src-like activities. Therefore, Abl is an important regulator of Src oncogenic activity both in mouse fibroblasts and in human cancer cells. Targeting these Abl-dependent signalling cascades may be of therapeutic value in breast cancers where Src-like function is important.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Animals
  • BALB 3T3 Cells / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 7 / metabolism
  • NIH 3T3 Cells / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-abl / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-abl / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src) / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src) / metabolism*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Src Homology 2 Domain-Containing, Transforming Protein 1
  • Tyrosine / metabolism


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • SHC1 protein, human
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Shc1 protein, mouse
  • Src Homology 2 Domain-Containing, Transforming Protein 1
  • Tyrosine
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-abl
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src)
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 7