Cortactin in cancer cell migration and invasion

Miao Yin _, Wenqing Ma and Liguo An

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:88232-88243. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21088

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Miao Yin1,*, Wenqing Ma1,* and Liguo An1

1Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Resistance Biology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Miao Yin, email: [email protected]

Keywords: cortactin, Arp2/3 complex, cancer cell, cell migration, cell invasion

Received: November 30, 2016     Accepted: August 29, 2017     Published: September 19, 2017


Cortactin, a substrate of sarcoma (Src) kinases, is an actin-binding protein that is involved in cytoskeletal regulation, and is frequently overexpressed in cancer cells. Binding to the actin related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex stimulates cortactin activity, which promotes F-actin nucleation and assembly. Cortactin promotes cancer cell migration and invasion, and plays a pivotal role in invadopodia formation and extra cellular matrix degradation. Overexpression of cortactin, by amplification of the chromosomal band 11q13, increases tumor aggressiveness. In this review, we report on the current knowledge and potential mechanisms of action of cortactin as a critical mediator of cancer cell migration and invasion.

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