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Oncogene. 2003 Oct 2;22(43):6785-93.

Phosphorylation of Bim-EL by Erk1/2 on serine 69 promotes its degradation via the proteasome pathway and regulates its proapoptotic function.

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INSERM Unit 526, LNC Label, Faculté de Médecine, 28 Avenue de Valombrose, 06107 Nice Cedex 02, France.


Bim is a proapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family that shares only the BH3 domain with this family. Three Bim proteins Bim-EL, Bim-L and Bim-S are synthesized from the same transcript. We report here that Bim-EL when phosphorylated by Erk1/2 is rapidly degraded via the proteasome pathway. Using different cellular models we evidence that serine 69 is both necessary and sufficient for Erk1/2-mediated phosphorylation and degradation of Bim-EL. In K562 cells, Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate activates Erk1/2 and consequently increases Bim-EL phosphorylation and degradation by the proteasome, resulting in cell survival, while the Bcr-Abl inhibitor imatinib abrogates Bim-EL phosphorylation and degradation and induces caspase activation and apoptosis. We also show that Bim-EL(S69G) promotes apoptosis more efficiently than Bim-EL-WT in K562 cells. Altogether, our findings demonstrate that phosphorylation of Bim-EL by Erk1/2 on serine 69 selectively leads to its proteasomal degradation and therefore represents a new and important mechanism of Bim regulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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