Association of the amino-terminal half of c-Src with focal adhesions alters their properties and is regulated by phosphorylation of tyrosine 527

EMBO J. 1994 Oct 17;13(20):4745-56.


We have characterized the mechanism by which the subcellular distribution of c-Src is controlled by the phosphorylation of tyrosine 527. Mutation of this tyrosine dramatically redistributes c-Src from endosomal membranes to focal adhesions. Redistribution to focal adhesions occurs independently of kinase activity and cellular transformation. In cells lacking the regulatory kinase (CSK) that phosphorylates tyrosine 527, c-Src is also found predominantly in focal adhesions, confirming that phosphorylation of tyrosine 527 affects the location of c-Src inside the cell. The first 251 amino acids of c-Src are sufficient to allow association with focal adhesions, indicating that at least one signal for positioning c-Src in focal adhesions resides in the amino-terminal half. Point mutations and deletions in the first 251 amino acids of c-Src reveal that association with focal adhesions requires the myristylation site needed for membrane attachment, as well as the SH3 domain. Expression of the amino-terminal region alters both the structural and biochemical properties of focal adhesions. Focal adhesions containing this non-catalytic portion of c-Src are larger and exhibit increased levels of phosphotyrosine staining. Our results suggest that c-Src may regulate focal adhesions and cellular adhesion by a kinase-independent mechanism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / chemistry
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Sorting Signals / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src) / chemistry
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src) / metabolism*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism
  • Tyrosine / metabolism*


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Tyrosine
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src)