Fyn is downstream of the HGF/MET signaling axis and affects cellular shape and tropism in PC3 cells

Clin Cancer Res. 2011 May 15;17(10):3112-22. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-1264. Epub 2011 Mar 1.


Purpose: Fyn is a member of the Src family of kinases that we have previously shown to be overexpressed in prostate cancer. This study defines the biological impact of Fyn inhibition in cancer using a PC3 prostate cancer model.

Experimental design: Fyn expression was suppressed in PC3 cells using an shRNA against Fyn (PC3/FYN-). Knockdown cells were characterized using standard growth curves and time-lapse video microscopy of wound assays and Dunn Chamber assays. Tissue microarray analysis was used to verify the physiologic relevance of the HGF/MET axis in human samples. Flank injections of nude mice were performed to assess in vivo growth characteristics.

Results: HGF was found to be sufficient to drive Fyn-mediated events. Compared to control transductants (PC3/Ctrl), PC3/FYN- showed a 21% decrease in growth at 4 days (P = 0.05). PC3/FYN- cells were 34% longer than control cells (P = 0.018) with 50% increase in overall surface area (P < 0.001). Furthermore, when placed in a gradient of HGF, PC3/FYN- cells showed impaired directed chemotaxis down an HGF gradient in comparison to PC3/Ctrl (P = 0.001) despite a 41% increase in cellular movement speed. In vivo studies showed 66% difference of PC3/FYN- cell growth at 8 weeks using bidimensional measurements (P = 0.002).

Conclusions: Fyn plays an important role in prostate cancer biology by facilitating cellular growth and by regulating directed chemotaxis-a key component of metastasis. This finding bears particular translational importance when studying the effect of Fyn inhibition in human subjects.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Shape* / drug effects
  • Cell Shape* / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / genetics
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fyn / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fyn / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fyn / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fyn / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / metabolism*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / genetics
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Tropism* / drug effects
  • Tropism* / genetics
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • HGF protein, human
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • MET protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met
  • FYN protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fyn