News Release

Impact of cortactin in cancer progression

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Impact Journals LLC

Figure 1

image: Figure 1: The molecular mechanism(s) of how Wnt5a signaling could (i) induce ROR1 and cortactin association, tyrosine phosphorylation of cortactin, and activation of RhoA, (ii) enhance F-actin polymerization, and (iii) subsequently promote migration or metastasis of cancer cells. view more 

Credit: 2023 Hasan and Kipps

“Cortactin (also known as EMS1 or CTTN) is expressed broadly in a variety of cancers [...]” 

BUFFALO, NY- April 4, 2023 – A new editorial paper was published in Oncotarget's Volume 14 on March 21, 2023, entitled, “Impact of cortactin in cancer progression on Wnt5a/ROR1 signaling pathway.”

In this editorial, researchers Kamrul Hasan and Thomas J. Kipps from the University of California discuss cortactin—an intracellular cytoskeletal protein that can undergo tyrosine phosphorylation upon external stimulation and promote polymerization and the assembly of the actin filament that is required for cell migration. Upon stimulation, cortactin binds and activates actin related protein Arp2/3 complex, a de novo actin nucleator that can induce F (filamentous)-actin polymerization [1, 2]. 

Cortactin (also known as EMS1 or CTTN) is expressed broadly in a variety of cancers, for which it plays an apparent role in cellular protrusions, which include lamellipodia and filopodia formation to promote migration and metastasis. Moreover, cortactin is expressed in (i) primary chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and primary breast-cancer cells, (ii) at least 15% of metastatic breast carcinomas, and (iii) CLL or breast cancer cell lines [3, 4]. In structure, cortactin contains a SH3 domain that allows it to bind characteristic motifs (-P-X-X-P-), which can be found in the proline-rich-domains (PRD) of other proteins, including receptor-tyrosine-kinase-like orphan receptor 1 (ROR1) [1, 3, 4]. 

“We have found (as have other investigators) that ROR1 is expressed by a variety of human cancers, which include CLL and breast cancer, suggesting that ROR1 may play a role in cancer pathogenesis [35].”


Continue reading the editorial paper: DOI: 

Correspondence to: Thomas J. Kipps


Keywords: cortactin, Wnt5a, ROR1, migration, metastasis

About Oncotarget: Oncotarget (a primarily oncology-focused, peer-reviewed, open access journal) aims to maximize research impact through insightful peer-review; eliminate borders between specialties by linking different fields of oncology, cancer research and biomedical sciences; and foster application of basic and clinical science.

To learn more about Oncotarget, visit and connect with us on social media:


Click here to subscribe to Oncotarget publication updates.

For media inquiries, please contact:


Oncotarget Journal Office

6666 East Quaker Str., Suite 1A

Orchard Park, NY 14127

Phone: 1-800-922-0957 (option 2)


Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.