Phosphorylation of ETS1 by src family kinases prevents its recognition by the COP1 tumor suppressor

Gang Lu, Qing Zhang, Ying Huang, Jiaxi Song, Ross Tomaino, Tobias Ehrenberger, Elgene Lim, Wenbin Liu, Roderick T. Bronson, Michaela Bowden, Jane Brock, Ian E. Krop, Deborah A. Dillon, Steven P. Gygi, Gordon B. Mills, Andrea L. Richardson, Sabina Signoretti, Michael B. Yaffe, William G. Kaelin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Oncoproteins and tumor suppressors antagonistically converge on critical nodes governing neoplastic growth, invasion, and metastasis. We discovered that phosphorylation of the ETS1 and ETS2 transcriptional oncoproteins at specific serine or threonine residues creates binding sites for the COP1 tumor suppressor protein, which is an ubiquitin ligase component, leading to their destruction. In the case of ETS1, however, phosphorylation of a neighboring tyrosine residue by Src family kinases disrupts COP1 binding, thereby stabilizing ETS1. Src-dependent accumulation of ETS1 in breast cancer cells promotes anchorage-independent growth invitro and tumor growth invivo. These findings expand the list of potential COP1 substrates to include proteins whose COP1-binding sites are subject to regulatory phosphorylation and provide insights into transformation by Src family kinases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-234
Number of pages13
JournalCancer cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 11 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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