To study the role of FAK signaling complexes in promoting metastatic properties of prostate cancer (PCa) cells, we selected stable, highly migratory variants, termed PC3 Mig-3 and DU145 Mig-3, from two well-characterized PCa cell lines, PC3 and DU145. These variants were not only increased migration and invasion in vitro, but were also more metastatic to lymph nodes following intraprostatic injection into nude mice. Both PC3 Mig-3 and DU145 Mig-3 were specifically increased in phosphorylation of FAK Y861. We therefore examined potential alterations in Src family kinases responsible for FAK phosphorylation and determined only Yes expression was increased. Overexpression of Yes in PC3 parental cells and src-/-fyn-/-yes-/- fibroblasts selectively increased FAK Y861 phosphorylation, and increased migration. Knockdown of Yes in PC3 Mig-3 cells decreased migration and decreased lymph node metastasis following orthotopic implantation of into nude mice. In human specimens, Yes expression was increased in lymph node metastases relative to paired primary tumors from the same patient, and increased pFAK Y861 expression in lymph node metastases correlated with poor prognosis. These results demonstrate a unique role for Yes in phosphorylation of FAK and in promoting PCa metastasis. Therefore, phosphorylated FAK Y861 and increased Yes expression may be predictive markers for PCa metastasis.
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