Src is a protein kinase found at elevated levels in pre-malignant colorectal tissues but its precise role in the development and progression of cancer remains unclear. In August Nature Cell Biology Egle Avizienyte and colleagues at The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glasgow, UK, show that increased levels of Src may contribute to colon cancer cell spread in multiple, but interdependent ways, through its effects on cellular adhesions (Nat Cell Biol 2002, 4:632-6380.

Avizienyte et al. used KM12C colon cancer cells and observed that elevated Src activity blocked normal assembly of cell–cell contacts and caused the components of adherens junctions, including vinculin, to be redistributed to Src-induced integrin–adhesion complexes. In addition, they showed that Src-induced disruption of E-cadherin localization requires specific integrin signaling because E-cadherin redistribution is blocked by loss of cell-matrix interaction, or by inhibitory antibodies to αv or β1 integrin subunits.

"These functions...

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