Ret-mediated mitogenesis requires Src kinase activity

Rosa Marina Melillo, Maria Vittoria Barone, Gelsy Lupoli, Anna Maria Cirafici, Francesca Carlomagno, Roberta Visconti, Brona Matoskova, Pier Paolo Di Fiore, Giancarlo Vecchio, Alfredo Fusco, Massimo Santoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The proto-oncogene RET encodes a transmembrane growth neurotrophic receptor with tyrosine kinase (TK) activity. RET mutations are associated with several human neoplastic and nonneoplastic diseases, including thyroid papillary carcinoma, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 syndromes, and Hirschsprung's disease. Activation of receptor TKs results in the binding and activation of downstream signaling proteins, among which are nonreceptor TKs of the Src family. To test the involvement of c-Src in Ret-mediated signaling, we measured the levels of c-Src activity in NIH3T3 cells coexpressing Ret and the accessory GFR α-1 receptor or an epidermal growth factor receptor/Ret chimeric receptor when the cells were stimulated by glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor or epidermal growth factor, respectively. Ret stimulation resulted in the activation of c-Src. We also measured the levels of Src kinase activity in cell lines expressing isoforms of the Ret receptor activated by different mutations. These cells showed higher Src kinase activity than the normal counterpart. Furthermore, we show that Ret is able to associate with the SH2 domain of Src in a phosphotyrosine-dependent fashion. Microinjection of a kinase inactive mutant of c-Src blocked Ret-mediated mitogenic effect. These experiments demonstrate that activated Ret is able to bind and stimulate c-Src kinase and that Src activation is essential for the mitogenic activity of Ret.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1120-1126
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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