Analysis of pp60(c-src) protein kinase activity in human tumor cell lines and tissues
We have evaluated the level of pp60c-src protein kinase activity in a variety of human tumor tissues and human tumor cell lines, and have estimated the abundance of the c-src protein in several of these tissues and cell lines. All cell lines derived from tumors of neuroectodermal origin that express a neural phenotype were found to possess c-src molecules with high levels of tyrosine-specific protein kinase activity. In contrast, cell lines derived from tumors of neuroectodermal origin that do not express neural characteristics, such as glioblastomas and melanomas, were found to have pp60c-src molecules with low levels of protein kinase activity. A similar pattern was observed when we analyzed the activity of c-src molecules extracted directly from corresponding tumor tissues. Analysis of human tumor cell lines derived from tissues other than those of neuroectodermal origin revealed that pp60c-src protein kinase activity was low in most cases. Exceptions to this observation were all rhabdomyosarcoma, osteogenic sarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma, and colon carcinoma lines tested. Comparison of pp60c-src kinase activity in normal skeletal muscle and rhabdomyosarcoma tissue and in normal breast tissue and breast adenocarcinoma tissue revealed that pp60c-src kinase activity was specifically elevated in the tumor tissues in both cases. However, the amount of pp60c-src protein in both normal and tumor tissues was found to be similar. These observations suggest that increases in the specific activity of the pp60c-src phosphotransferase in some rhabdomyosarcomas and breast carcinomas may be a characteristic acquired during the malignant transformation of the cells that is retained in cell lines established from these tumors.