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Mol Cancer Res. 2005 Aug;3(8):443-51.

Pim family kinases enhance tumor growth of prostate cancer cells.

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Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


Recent analyses indicate that the expression of the Pim-1 protein kinase is elevated in biopsies of prostate tumors. To identify the mechanism by which the Pim kinases may affect the growth of prostate tumors, we expressed Pim-1, Pim-2, or a kinase-dead Pim-2 protein in human PC3 prostate cancer cells. On implantation of the transfectants in nude mice, the growth of the cells expressing Pim-1 or Pim-2 was significantly faster than the growth of the control cells transfected with the neomycin-resistant gene or the kinase-dead Pim-2 protein. When grown in medium, the doubling time of the Pim-1 and Pim-2 transfectants was faster (0.75 days) than that of the control cells (1.28 days). We, therefore, examined the ability of Pim to control the phosphorylation of proteins that regulate protein synthesis. On growth factor starvation or rapamycin treatment, the Pim-1 and Pim-2 transfectants maintained their ability to phosphorylate 4E-BP1 and S6 kinase, although this phosphorylation did not occur in the control-transfected PC3 cells. We have found that the cellular levels of c-Myc were elevated in the Pim-1 and Pim-2 transfectants under these conditions. The Pim-1 and Pim-2 transfectants have lower levels of serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity and the alpha- and beta-subunit B56gamma of the PP2A phosphatase do not coimmunoprecipitate in these cells. Thus, the effects of Pim on PP2A activity may mediate the levels of c-Myc and the phosphorylation of proteins needed for increased protein synthesis. Both of these changes could have a significant impact on tumor growth.

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