Transformation by oncogenes encoding protein kinases induces the metastatic phenotype

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Science  09 Oct 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4824, pp. 202-205
DOI: 10.1126/science.3659911


Oncogenes encoding serine/threonine or tyrosine kinases were introduced into the established rodent fibroblast cell line NIH 3T3 and tested for tumorigenic and metastatic behavior in T cell-deficient nude mice. Transforming oncogenes of the ras family were capable of converting fibroblast cell lines to fully metastatic tumors. Cell lines transformed by the kinase oncogenes mos, raf, src, fes, and fms formed experimental metastases and (in some cases) these genes were more efficient at metastatic conversion than a mutant ras gene. In contrast, cells transformed by either of two nuclear oncogenes, myc or p53, were tumorigenic when injected subcutaneously but were virtually nonmetastatic after intravenous injection. These data demonstrate that, in addition to ras, a structurally divergent group of kinase oncogenes can induce the metastatic phenotype.

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