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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Matrix-independent activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, Stat3, and cyclin A-associated Cdk2 Is essential for anchorage-independent growth of v-Ros-transformed chicken embryo fibroblasts.

The question remains open whether the signaling pathways shown to be important for growth and transformation in adherent cultures proceed similarly and play similar roles for cells grown under anchorage-independent conditions. Chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF) infected with the avian sarcoma virus UR2, encoding the oncogenic receptor protein-tyrosine kinase (RPTK) v-Ros, or with two of its transformation-impaired mutants were grown in nonadherent conditions in methylcellulose (MC)-containing medium, and the signaling functions essential for Ros-induced anchorage-independent growth were analyzed. We found that the overall tyrosine phosphorylation of cellular proteins in CEF transformed by v-Ros or by two oncogenic nonreceptor protein-tyrosine kinases (PTKs), v-Src and v-Yes, was dramatically reduced in nonadherent conditions compared with that in adherent conditions, indicating that cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix plays an important role in efficient substrate phosphorylation by these constitutively activated PTKs. The UR2 transformation-defective mutants were differentially impaired compared with UR2 in the activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) and Stat3 in nonadherent conditions. Consistently, the constitutively activated mutants of PI 3-kinase and Stat3 rescued the ability of the UR2 mutants to promote anchorage-independent growth. Conversely, dominant negative mutants of PI 3-kinase and Stat3 inhibited UR2-induced anchorage-independent growth. UR2-infected CEF grown in nonadherent conditions displayed faster cell cycle progression than the control or the UR2 mutant-infected cells, and this appeared to correlate with a PI 3-kinase-dependent increase in cyclin A-associated Cdk2 activity. Treatment of UR2-infected cells with Cdk2 inhibitors led to the loss of the anchorage-independent growth-promoting activity of UR2. In conclusion, we have adopted an experimental system enabling us to study the signaling pathways in cells grown under anchorage-independent conditions and have identified matrix-independent activation of PI 3-kinase and Stat3 signaling functions, as well as the PI 3-kinase-dependent increase of cyclin A-associated Cdk2 kinase activity, to be critical for the Ros-PTK-induced anchorage-independent growth.[1]


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