Increases in the levels and/or activity of nonreceptor tyrosine kinases c-Src and c-Yes are often associated with colorectal carcinogenesis. The physiological consequences of increased c-Yes activity during the early and late stages of tumorigenesis, in addition to the degree of redundancy between c-Yes and c-Src in colorectal cancer cells, remain elusive. To study the consequences of increases in c-Yes levels and activity in later stages of colorectal carcinogenesis, we developed human colorectal cancer cell lines in which c-Yes levels and activity can be inducibly increased by a tightly controlled expression of wild-type c-Yes or by constitutively active mutants of c-Yes, c-YesY537F, and c-Yes Delta t6aa. c-Yes induction resulted in increased cell motility but did not promote proliferation either in vitro or in vivo. These results suggest that in later stages of colorectal carcinogenesis, elevations in c-Yes levels/activity may promote cancer spread and metastasis rather than tumor growth.
Keywords: c-Src; c-Yes; colon cancer; motility; proliferation.