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Mol Cell Biol. 1992 December; 12(12): 5834–5842.
PMCID: PMC360523

The SH2- and SH3-containing Nck protein transforms mammalian fibroblasts in the absence of elevated phosphotyrosine levels.


We have established the human nck sequence as a new oncogene. Nck encodes one SH2 and three SH3 domains, the Src homology motifs found in nonreceptor tyrosine kinases, Ras GTPase-activating protein, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and phospholipase C-gamma. Overexpression of human nck in 3Y1 rat fibroblasts results in transformation as judged by alteration of cell morphology, colony formation in soft agar, and tumor formation in nude BALB/c mice. However, overexpression of nck does not induce detectable elevation of the phosphotyrosine content of specific proteins, as is observed for v-crk, another SH2/SH3-containing oncogene. Despite this fact, we demonstrate that Nck retains the ability to bind tyrosine phosphorylated proteins in vitro, using a fusion protein of Nck with glutathione-S-transferase (GST). Moreover, when incubated with lysates prepared from v-src-transformed 3Y1 cells or the nck-overexpressing cell lines, GST-Nck binds to both p60v-src and serine/threonine kinases, respectively. Although phosphotyrosine levels are not elevated in the nck-expressing fibroblasts, vanadate treatment of these cells results in a phosphotyrosine pattern that is altered from the parental 3Y1 pattern, suggestive of a perturbation of indigenous tyrosine kinase pathways. These results suggest the possibility that human nck induces transformation in 3Y1 fibroblasts by virtue of its altered affinity or specificity for the normal substrates of its rat homolog and that Nck may play a role in linking tyrosine and serine/threonine kinase pathways within the cell.

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