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This article has been peer reviewed and is published in Molecular Biology of the Cell 2008, 19(4): 1378-1390. The published version is available at DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E07-08-0753. ©The American Society for Cell Biology


The spread of metastatic tumors to different organs is associated with poor prognosis. The metastatic process requires migration and cellular invasion. The protooncogene c-jun encodes the founding member of the activator protein-1 family and is required for cellular proliferation and DNA synthesis in response to oncogenic signals and plays an essential role in chemical carcinogenesis. The role of c-Jun in cellular invasion remains to be defined. Genetic deletion of c-Jun in transgenic mice is embryonic lethal; therefore, transgenic mice encoding a c-Jun gene flanked by LoxP sites (c-jun(f/f)) were used. c-jun gene deletion reduced c-Src expression, hyperactivated ROCK II signaling, and reduced cellular polarity, migration, and invasiveness. c-Jun increased c-Src mRNA abundance and c-Src promoter activity involving an AP-1 site in the c-Src promoter. Transduction of c-jun(-/-) cells with either c-Jun or c-Src retroviral expression systems restored the defective cellular migration of c-jun(-/-) cells. As c-Src is a critical component of pathways regulating proliferation, survival, and metastasis, the induction of c-Src abundance, by c-Jun, provides a novel mechanism of cooperative signaling in cellular invasion.

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