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Cancer Res. 2009 Oct 1;69(19):7835-43. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1606. Epub 2009 Sep 29.

Extracellular signal-regulated kinase positively regulates the oncogenic activity of MCT-1 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

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University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


The MCT-1 oncogene was originally identified from lymphoma cell lines. Herein we establish that MCT-1 is highly expressed in 85% of human diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) and that knocking down MCT-1 by a specific short hairpin RNA in DLBCL cells induces apoptosis, supporting a critical role for MCT-1 in DLBCL cell survival. However, the mechanism underlying MCT-1 regulation is largely unknown. We find that MCT-1 is phosphorylated and up-regulated by extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Furthermore, by using a small inhibitory molecule targeting ERK, we interrupted MCT-1 phosphorylation and stability. Significantly, cells with distinct levels of MCT-1 protein displayed differential sensitivity to ERK inhibitor-induced apoptosis. Treatment with the ERK inhibitor showed marked in vivo antitumor activity in a human DLBCL xenograft model. Our findings establish a functional molecular interaction between MCT-1 and the MEK/ERK signaling pathway and suggest that the activation of MCT-1 function by its upstream kinase ERK plays an important role in lymphomagenesis.

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