Crk is a signaling adaptor protein which is mostly composed of SH2 and SH3 domains, and has been shown to play a pivotal role in cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Because Crk was originally isolated as an avian sarcoma virus CT10 encoding oncoprotein v-Crk, we examined a potential role for c-Crk in the carcinogenesis of human cancers. First, to analyze gene mutations of c-Crk, we isolated a human bacterial artificial chromosome clone containing Crk genome and exon/intron structures. However, polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism methods failed to show any genomic mutations in the Crk exon which could be related to carcinogenesis. Second, immunohistochemical analysis of c-Crk-II demonstrated that the levels of c-Crk-II were significantly elevated in most of the tumors, particularly in the colon and lung cancers. Furthermore, immunoblot analysis using human lung cancer cell lines revealed that the expression levels of c-Crk-II were correlated to growth rates of cells. The elevated expression levels of c-Crk-II might be related to the development of human cancers.
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