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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 May 22;109(21):8149-54. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1200804109. Epub 2012 May 7.

Mixed-lineage kinase 3 phosphorylates prolyl-isomerase Pin1 to regulate its nuclear translocation and cellular function.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL 60153, USA.


Nuclear protein peptidyl-prolyl isomerase Pin1-mediated prolyl isomerization is an essential and novel regulatory mechanism for protein phosphorylation. Therefore, tight regulation of Pin1 localization and catalytic activity is crucial for its normal nuclear functions. Pin1 is commonly dysregulated during oncogenesis and likely contributes to these pathologies; however, the mechanism(s) by which Pin1 catalytic activity and nuclear localization are increased is unknown. Here we demonstrate that mixed-lineage kinase 3 (MLK3), a MAP3K family member, phosphorylates Pin1 on a Ser138 site to increase its catalytic activity and nuclear translocation. This phosphorylation event drives the cell cycle and promotes cyclin D1 stability and centrosome amplification. Notably, Pin1 pSer138 is significantly up-regulated in breast tumors and is localized in the nucleus. These findings collectively suggest that the MLK3-Pin1 signaling cascade plays a critical role in regulating the cell cycle, centrosome numbers, and oncogenesis.

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