2017 Volume 40 Issue 10 Pages 1616-1624
Erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular receptor A2 (EphA2) receptor tyrosine kinase controls multiple physiological processes to maintain homeostasis in normal cells. In many types of solid tumors, it has been reported that EphA2 is overexpressed and plays a critical role in oncogenic signaling. However, in recent years, the opposing functions of EphA2 have been explained by the canonical and noncanonical signaling pathways. Ligand- and tyrosine kinase-dependent EphA2 activation (the canonical pathway) inhibits cancer cell proliferation and motility. In contrast, ligand- and tyrosine kinase-independent EphA2 signaling (the noncanonical pathway) promotes tumor survival and metastasis and controls acquired drug resistance and maintenance of cancer stem cell-like properties. Evidence has accumulated showing that the EphA2 noncanonical pathway is mainly regulated by inflammatory cytokines and growth factors via phosphorylation at Ser-897 in the intracellular C-tail region via some serine/threonine kinases, including p90 ribosomal S6 kinase. In this review, we focus on the regulation of Ser-897 phosphorylation and its functional importance in tumor malignancy and discuss future therapeutic targeting.