T-lymphokine-activated killer cell-originated protein kinase functions as a positive regulator of c-Jun-NH2-kinase 1 signaling and H-Ras-induced cell transformation

Sang Muk Oh, Feng Zhu, Yong Yeon Cho, Won Lee Ki, Seok Kang Bong, HONGGYUM KIM, Tatiana Zykova, Ann M. Bode, Zigang Dong

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48 Scopus citations


T-lymphokine-activated killer cell-originated protein kinase (TOPK) is overexpressed in highly proliferating tumors such as leukemias and myelomas, and seems to play a key role in tumorigenesis or metastasis. However, the precise role and regulatory mechanism explaining the effects of TOPK on tumor cells still remain elusive. Here, we reported that TOPK regulates UVB-induced c-Jun-NH2-kinase 1 (JNK1) activity, and is essential for H-Ras-induced activator protein-1 activity and cell transformation. We showed that TOPK associated with and phosphorylated JNK1 following UVB irradiation in vitro or in vivo. Moreover, UVB-induced JNK1 activity was greatly augmented in mouse epidermal JB6 Cl41 cells that stably expressed TOPK cDNA. On the other hand, JNK1 activity was markedly attenuated by stable expression of small interfering RNA against TOPK in malignant melanoma RPMI 7951 cells. Interestingly, TOPK interacted with JNK-interacting protein 1 and caused an elevation of JNK-interacting protein 1 scaffolding activity, thereby enhancing JNK1 activity. Furthermore, JNK1 was required for TOPK-mediated activator protein-1 transcriptional activity and transformed foci induced by UVB or H-Ras. Taken together, these findings showed that TOPK positively modulated UVB-induced JNK1 activity and played a pivotal role in JNK1-mediated cell transformation induced by H-Ras. These studies might also provide a novel molecular mechanism for the role of TOPK in UVB-mediated skin carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5186-5194
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007


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