Tyrosine phosphorylation of membrane-associated proteins is involved at two distinct sites of contact between cells and the extracellular matrix: adhesion plaques (cell adhesion and de-adhesion) and invadopodia (invasion into the extracellular matrix). Adhesion plaques from chicken embryonic fibroblasts or from cells transformed by Rous sarcoma virus contain low levels of tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins (YPPs) which were below the level of detection in 0.5-microns thin, frozen sections. In contrast, intense localization of YPPs was observed at invadopodia of transformed cells at sites of degradation and invasion into the fibronectin-coated gelatin substratum, but not in membrane extensions free of contact with the extracellular matrix. Local extracellular matrix degradation and formation of invadopodia were blocked by genistein, an inhibitor of tyrosine-specific kinases, but cells remained attached to the substratum and retained their free-membrane extensions. Invadopodia reduced or lost YPP labeling after treatment of the cells with genistein, but adhesion plaques retained YPP labeling. The plasma membrane contact fractions of normal and transformed cells have been isolated form cells grown on gelatin cross-linked substratum using a novel fractionation scheme, and analyzed by immunoblotting. Four major YPPs (150, 130, 81, and 77 kD) characterize invadopodial membranes in contact with the matrix, and are probably responsible for the intense YPP labeling associated with invadopodia extending into sites of matrix degradation. YPP150 may be an invadopodal-specific YPP since it is approximately 3.6-fold enriched in the invasive contact fraction relative to the cell body fraction and is not observed in normal contacts. YPP130 is enriched in transformed cell contacts but may also be present in normal contacts. The two major YPPs of normal contacts (130 and 71 kD) are much lower in abundance than the major tyrosine-phosphorylated bands associated with invadopodial membranes, and likely represent major adhesion plaque YPPs. YPP150, paxillin, and tensin appear to be enriched in the cell contact fractions containing adhesion plaques and invadopodia relative to the cell body fraction, but are also present in the soluble supernate fraction. However, vinculin, talin, and alpha-actinin that are localized at invadopodia, are equally concentrated in cell bodies and cell contacts as is the membrane-adhesion receptor beta 1 integrin. Thus, tyrosine phosphorylation of the membrane-bound proteins may contribute to the cytoskeletal and plasma membrane events leading to the formation and function of invadopodia that contact and proteolytically degrade the extracellular matrix; we have identified several candidate YPPs that may participate in the regulation of these processes.

This content is only available as a PDF.