The results presented in this report demonstrate increased pp60c-src kinase activity associated with moderate to well differentiated colon tumors, corroborating previous observations by other groups. Extension of this analysis to include a small number of poorly differentiated colon carcinomas revealed src kinase activity comparable to that observed in normal colonic mucosa, considerably less than that observed in moderate/well differentiated lesions. Correlations of src kinase activity with differentiation was confirmed within a panel of colon cell lines where increased activity, associated with moderate/well differentiated lines, was accompanied by increased expression of pp60c-src protein. Use of an antiphosphotyrosine antibody in immunoprecipitation revealed the presence of novel phosphotyrosyl cellular substrates in human colon cell lines displaying elevated pp60c-src kinase activity. These observations suggest a role for the src protooncogene in colonic differentiation pathways.
T K Weber, G Steele, I C Summerhayes