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Exp Cell Res. 1999 Sep 15;251(2):340-9.

PI3-kinase is involved in mitogenic signaling by the oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinase Xiphophorus melanoma receptor kinase in fish melanoma.

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Biocenter (Theodor-Boveri Institut), University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.


Overexpression of the mutationally activated receptor tyrosine kinase Xiphophorus melanoma receptor kinase (Xmrk) initiates formation of hereditary malignant melanoma in the fish Xiphophorus. In melanoma as well as in a melanoma-derived cell line (PSM) this receptor is highly activated resulting in constitutive Xmrk-mediated mitogenic signaling. In order to analyze mitogenic signaling triggered by Xmrk a possible involvement of phosphatidylinositol 3 (PI3)-kinase in Xmrk signal transduction was examined. Constitutive binding of the p85 adapter subunit of PI3-kinase to the Xmrk receptor was detected in PSM melanoma cells. Further analyses in BHK cells expressing a Xmrk chimera (HER-mrk) showed that p85 association with the intracellular part of Xmrk was dependent on autophosphorylation of the receptor. In vitro binding studies revealed that the interaction is mediated mainly through the N-terminal SH2 domain of p85 which directly binds to a sequence motif around phosphorylated Tyr-983 in the Xmrk carboxy-terminus. In accordance with recruitment of p85 by Xmrk in PSM cells, the PI3-kinase downstream target Akt was found to be highly phosphorylated on Ser-473, indicating efficient PI3-kinase signaling in melanoma cells. PI3-kinase activation was also detected in Xiphophorus melanoma. Moreover, malignant melanomas exhibited an increased level of PI3-kinase activity which was about three times higher than that in benign pigmented lesions. Inhibition of PI3-kinase activity in PSM melanoma cells by both Wortmannin and LY294002 blocked entry into S-phase. Together these data demonstrate that PI3-kinase is a substrate of the oncogenic Xmrk receptor and plays a significant role in mitogenic signaling of melanoma cells and the formation of malignant melanoma in Xiphophorus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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