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Oncogene. 2002 Feb 7;21(7):1062-70.

TC21 mediates transformation and cell survival via activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and NF-kappaB signaling pathway.

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Department of Pharmacology, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, 750 E. Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA.


The signaling pathways of TC21-mediated transformation and cell survival are not well-established. In this study, we have investigated the role of PI3-K/Akt signaling pathway in oncogenic-TC21-mediated transformation and cell survival. We found that oncogenic-TC21 stimulated the PI3-K activity. This was associated with the activation of Akt, a key component of PI3-K signaling pathway. We also found that TC21 interacted and formed complex with PI3-K. Mutations in the GTP-binding region of TC21, which enhanced GTP-binding potential of this protein, also stimulated its association with PI3-K, suggesting that PI3-K may preferentially interact with the GTP-bound form. Suppression of PI3-K and Akt by specific inhibitors LY294002 and Wortmannin reversed TC21-induced transformation. Likewise, inhibition of PI3-K activity by the PI3-K phosphotase PTEN reduced TC21-mediated focus formation in NIH3T3 cells. Investigation of TC21's effect on cell survival revealed that mutant-TC21 expressing cells were more resistant to etoposide- and cisplatin-induced cell death, and this was associated with the activation of anti-apoptotic protein NF-kappaB, a downstream target of Akt. Treatment of PI3-K inhibitor LY294002 significantly suppressed TC21-mediated NF-kappaB activation. In conclusion, we have identified PI3-K as an effector of TC21 and demonstrated that the PI3-K/Akt signaling pathway plays important roles in TC21-mediated transformation and cell survival.

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