The Fer Tyrosine Kinase Cooperates with Interleukin-6 to Activate Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 and Promote Human Prostate Cancer Cell Growth

McGill University Health Center Research Institute, 1650 Cedar Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1A4.
Molecular Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 4.38). 02/2009; 7(1):142-55. DOI: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-08-0117
Source: PubMed


Androgen withdrawal is the most effective form of systemic therapy for men with advanced prostate cancer. Unfortunately, androgen-independent progression is inevitable, and the development of hormone-refractory disease and death occurs within 2 to 3 years in most men. The understanding of molecular mechanisms promoting the growth of androgen-independent prostate cancer cells is essential for the rational design of agents to treat advanced disease. We previously reported that Fer tyrosine kinase level correlates with the development of prostate cancer and aggressiveness of prostate cancer cell lines. Moreover, knocking down Fer expression interferes with prostate cancer cell growth in vitro. However, the mechanism by which Fer mediates prostate cancer progression remains elusive. We present here that Fer and phospho-Y705 signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) are barely detectable in human benign prostate tissues but constitutively expressed in the cytoplasm and nucleus of the same subsets of tumor cells in human prostate cancer. The interaction between STAT3 and Fer was observed in all prostate cancer cell lines tested, and this interaction is mediated via the Fer Src homology 2 domain and modulated by interleukin-6 (IL-6). Moreover, IL-6 triggered a rapid formation of Fer/gp130 and Fer/STAT3 complexes in a time-dependent manner and consistent with changes in Fer and STAT3 phosphorylation and cytoplasmic/nuclear distribution. The modulation of Fer expression/activation resulted in inhibitory or stimulatory effects on STAT3 phosphorylation, nuclear translocation, and transcriptional activation. These effects translated in IL-6-mediated PC-3 cell growth. Taken together, these results support an important function of Fer in prostate cancer.

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    • "Human Fes has both oncogenic and tumor suppressor roles, depending upon the type of tumor [14,25], and Fer is widely expressed and activated by growth factors, primarily platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) [26]. Fer is involved in many processes including cell proliferation [27,28], cell adhesion [29], cell migration [30], and even oocyte maturation [31]. Fer is also implicated in several cancers [32-34]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The SPE-8 group gene products transduce the signal for spermatid activation initiated by extracellular zinc in C. elegans. Mutations in the spe-8 group genes result in hermaphrodite-derived spermatids that cannot activate to crawling spermatozoa, although spermatids from mutant males activate through a pathway induced by extracellular TRY-5 protease present in male seminal fluid. Results Here, we identify SPE-8 as a member of a large family of sperm-expressed non-receptor-like protein-tyrosine kinases. A rescuing SPE-8::GFP translational fusion reporter localizes to the plasma membrane in all spermatogenic cells from the primary spermatocyte stage through spermatids. Once spermatids become activated to spermatozoa, the reporter moves from the plasma membrane to the cytoplasm. Mutations in the spe-8 group genes spe-12, spe-19, and spe-27 disrupt localization of the reporter to the plasma membrane, while localization appears near normal in a spe-29 mutant background. Conclusions These results suggest that the SPE-8 group proteins form a functional complex localized at the plasma membrane, and that SPE-8 is correctly positioned only when all members of the SPE-8 group are present, with the possible exception of SPE-29. Further, SPE-8 is released from the membrane when the activation signal is transduced into the spermatid.
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    • "There are also reports that suggest a supportive role of FER in the proliferation and growth of malignant cells [20] [21]. Actually, several reports have suggested its roles in cancers [22], including prostate cancer [20] [23], colon cancer [24], breast cancer [21], hepatocellular carcinoma [25], malignant mesothelioma [26], or gastric cancer [27]; however, to the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first report to correlate FER with lung cancer. "
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    ABSTRACT: Here, we show that overexpression of fer tyrosine kinase (FER), a non-receptor tyrosine kinase, predicts poor postoperative outcome and might be involved in cancer-cell survival in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Systematic screening using in silico analyses and quantitative RT-PCR revealed that FER was overexpressed in about 10% of NSCLC patients. Evaluation of FER expression using immunohistochemistry (IHC) on tissue microarrays was consistent with the mRNA level detected using quantitative RT-PCR. In analyses of 135 NSCLC patients who had undergone potential curative resection, we found that FER overexpression detected using IHC had no association with clinicopathological features such as age, sex, smoking history, histological type, disease stage, T factor, N factor, adjuvant chemotherapy history, or EGFR mutation, but was correlated with poor postoperative survival periods. A multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that this prognostic impact was independent of other clinicopathological features. In functional analyses of FER in vitro, FER exhibited a transforming activity, suggesting that it possesses oncogenic functions. We also found that human lung cancer NCI-H661 cells, which exhibited FER-outlier expression, were led to apoptosis by the knockdown of FER using RNA interference. FER overexpression might serve as a prognostic biomarker and be involved in cancer-cell survival in NSCLC.
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    • "We also found that the amount of the laminin-binding to p120-catenin (Piedra et al., 2003), and Fer down-regulation resulted in a decrease in E-cadherin protein (Supplemental Figure S4). Previously Fer was shown to activate STAT3 and promote human prostate cancer cell growth (Zoubeidi et al., 2009). Thus we asked whether STAT3 interacts with Fer in breast cancer cell lines. "
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