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Biochem Pharmacol. 2000 Oct 15;60(8):1115-9.

Integrin-linked kinase (ILK): a "hot" therapeutic target.

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Kinetek Pharmaceuticals Inc., Vancouver, BC V6P6P2, Canada.


Integrin-mediated cell adhesion is known to regulate gene expression through the activation of transcription factors. We have recently revealed that these activations are mediated through integrin-linked kinase (ILK). ILK is an ankyrin repeat-containing serine-threonine protein kinase that can interact directly with the cytoplasmic domain of the beta1 and beta3 integrin subunits and whose kinase activity is modulated by cell-extracellular matrix interactions. We have shown that ILK overexpression results in the translocation of beta-catenin to the nucleus, which then forms a complex formation with the lymphoid enhancer binding factor 1 (LEF-1) transcription factor, subsequently activating the transcriptional activity of promoters containing LEF-1 response elements. ILK phosphorylates the glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3), which inhibits GSK-3 activity. We have demonstrated that ILK stimulates activator protein-1 transcriptional activity through GSK-3 and the subsequent regulation of the c-Jun-DNA interaction. ILK also phosphorylates protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) and stimulates its activity. We have shown that ILK is an upstream effector of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent regulation of PKB/Akt. ILK has been shown to phosphorylate PKB/Akt on Ser-473 in vitro and in vivo. Our results clearly indicate that ILK is a key element in the regulation of integrin signaling as well as growth factor and Wnt signaling pathways. PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog detected on chromosome 10) is a tumor suppressor gene located on chromosome 10q23 that encodes a protein and phospholipid phosphatase. It is now estimated that inactivation mutants of PTEN exist in 60% of all forms of solid tumors. Loss of expression or mutational inactivation of PTEN leads to the constitutive activation of PKB/Akt via enhanced phosphorylation of Thr-308 and Ser-473. We have demonstrated that the activity of ILK is constitutively elevated in PTEN mutant cells. A small molecule ILK inhibitor suppresses the phosphorylation of PKB at the Ser-473 but not the Thr-308 site in the PTEN mutant cells. These results indicate that inhibition of ILK may be of significant value in solid tumor therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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