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Nat Cell Biol. 2007 Aug;9(8):932-44. Epub 2007 Jul 22.

PIM1-dependent phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10 is required for MYC-dependent transcriptional activation and oncogenic transformation.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia Molecolare Universit√† di Siena, Via Fiorentina 1, 53100 Siena, Italy.


The serine/threonine kinase human Pim1 (hereafter PIM1) cooperates with human c-Myc (hereafter MYC) in cell cycle progression and tumorigenesis. However, the nature of this cooperation is still unknown. Here we show that, after stimulation with growth factor, PIM1 forms a complex with the dimer of MYC with MAX (Myc-associated factor X) via the MYC BoxII (MBII) domain. MYC recruits PIM1 to the E boxes of the MYC-target genes FOSL1 (FRA-1) and ID2, and PIM1 phosphorylates serine 10 of histone H3 (H3S10) on the nucleosome at the MYC-binding sites, contributing to their transcriptional activation. MYC and PIM1 colocalize at sites of active transcription, and expression profile analysis revealed that PIM1 contributes to the regulation of 20% of the MYC-regulated genes. Moreover, PIM1-dependent H3S10 phosphorylation contributes to MYC transforming capacity. These results establish a new function for PIM1 as a MYC cofactor that phosphorylates the chromatin at MYC-target loci and suggest that nucleosome phosphorylation, at E boxes, contributes to MYC-dependent transcriptional activation and cellular transformation.

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