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Cell Death Dis. 2014 Apr 10;5:e1157. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2014.135.

Liver kinase B1 regulates the centrosome via PLK1.

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Division of Hematology and Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.
Department of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA.
Department of Systems Biology, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77054, USA.
Key Laboratory of Pathobiology, Ministry of Education, Norman Bethune College of Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun, China.


Liver kinase B1 (LKB1) is a tumor suppressor mutationally inactivated in Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS) and various sporadic cancers. Although LKB1 encodes a kinase that possesses multiple functions, no individual hypothesis posed to date has convincingly explained how loss of LKB1 contributes to carcinogenesis. In this report we demonstrated that LKB1 maintains genomic stability through the regulation of centrosome duplication. We found that LKB1 colocalized with centrosomal proteins and was situated in the mitotic spindle pole. LKB1 deficiency-induced centrosome amplification was independent of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a well-defined substrate of LKB1. Cells lacking LKB1 exhibited an increase in phosphorylated and total Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK-1), NIMA-related kinase 2 (NEK2), and ninein-like protein (NLP). Overexpression of active PLK1 (T210D) reversed the inhibition of LKB1 on centrosome amplification. In contrast, depletion of PLK1 with siRNA or suppression of PLK1 kinase activity with BTO-1 (5-Cyano-7-nitro-2-benzothiazolecarboxamide-3-oxide) abrogated LKB1 deficiency-induced centrosome amplification. We further characterized that LKB1 phosphorylated and activated AMPK-related kinase 5 (NUAK1 or ARK5) that in turn increased the phosphorylation of MYPT1, enhanced the binding between MYPT1-PP1 and PLK1, and conferred an effective dephosphorylation of PLK1. More importantly, we noted that LKB1-deficient cells exhibited multiple nuclear abnormalities, such as mitotic delay, binuclear, polylobed, grape, large, and micronuclear. Immediate depletion of LKB1 resulted in the accumulation of multiploidy cells. Expression of LKB1 is reversely correlated with the levels of PLK1 in human cancer tissues. Thus, we have uncovered a novel function of LKB1 in the maintenance of genomic stability through the regulation of centrosome mediated by PLK1.

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