Nck deficiency is associated with delayed breast carcinoma progression and reduced metastasis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Although it is known that noncatalytic region of tyrosine kinase (Nck) regulates cell adhesion and migration by bridging tyrosine phosphorylation with cytoskeletal remodeling, the role of Nck in tumorigenesis and metastasis has remained undetermined. Here we report that Nck is required for the growth and vascularization of primary tumors and lung metastases in a breast cancer xenograft model as well as extravasation following injection of carcinoma cells into the tail vein. We provide evidence that Nck directs the polarization of cell-matrix interactions for efficient migration in three-dimensional microenvironments. We show that Nck advances breast carcinoma cell invasion by regulating actin dynamics at invadopodia and enhancing focalized extracellular matrix proteolysis by directing the delivery and accumulation of MMP14 at the cell surface. We find that Nck-dependent cytoskeletal changes are mechanistically linked to enhanced RhoA but restricted spatiotemporal activation of Cdc42. Using a combination of protein silencing and forced expression of wild-type/constitutively active variants, we provide evidence that Nck is an upstream regulator of RhoA-dependent, MMP14-mediated breast carcinoma cell invasion. By identifying Nck as an important driver of breast carcinoma progression and metastasis, these results lay the groundwork for future studies assessing the therapeutic potential of targeting Nck in aggressive cancers.

published proceedings

  • Mol Biol Cell

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Morris, D. C., Popp, J. L., Tang, L. K., Gibbs, H. C., Schmitt, E., Chaki, S. P., ... Rivera, G. M.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Morris, David C||Popp, Julia L||Tang, Leung K||Gibbs, Holly C||Schmitt, Emily||Chaki, Sankar P||Bywaters, Briana C||Yeh, Alvin T||Porter, Weston W||Burghardt, Robert C||Barhoumi, Rola||Rivera, Gonzalo M

editor list (cited editors)

  • Chernoff, J.

publication date

  • November 2017