Erbstatin and methyl 2,5-dihydroxycinnamate, related tyrosine kinase inhibitors, induced a morphological change in temperature-sensitive Rous sarcoma virus-transformed rat kidney (RSV15·NRK) that brought the cells close to the morphology of their normal counterpart. Erbstatin did not change the morphology of normal or Kirsten sarcoma virus-transformed rat kidney cells. Erbstatin also inhibited morphological transformation of RSV15·NRK cells induced by a shifting in temperature. Actin stress fibres were observed only in normal cells and not in transformed cells. Erbstatin induced stress fibre organization in transformed cells. Erbstatin and methyl 2.5-dihydroxycinnamate increased fibronectin gene expression in RSV-transformed cells. Thus, tyrosine kinase inhibitors induced normal phenotypes specifically in v-sre-expressing cells.
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