Gene Summary

Gene:MAPKAPK2; mitogen-activated protein kinase-activated protein kinase 2
Aliases: MK2, MK-2, MAPKAP-K2
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the Ser/Thr protein kinase family. This kinase is regulated through direct phosphorylation by p38 MAP kinase. In conjunction with p38 MAP kinase, this kinase is known to be involved in many cellular processes including stress and inflammatory responses, nuclear export, gene expression regulation and cell proliferation. Heat shock protein HSP27 was shown to be one of the substrates of this kinase in vivo. Two transcript variants encoding two different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:MAP kinase-activated protein kinase 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (41)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Phosphorylation
  • Transfection
  • HSP27 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Mutation
  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus
  • Risk Factors
  • Chromosome 1
  • Protein Kinases
  • DNA Damage
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Up-Regulation
  • DNA Repair
  • Western Blotting
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Cell Cycle
  • RNA Interference
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Pyridines
  • Staurosporine
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Apoptosis
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Lung Cancer
  • Signal Transduction
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Messenger RNA
  • Imidazoles
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cytokines
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Immunoblotting
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: MAPKAPK2 (cancer-related)

Wang L, Yang H, Palmbos PL, et al.
ATDC/TRIM29 phosphorylation by ATM/MAPKAP kinase 2 mediates radioresistance in pancreatic cancer cells.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(6):1778-88 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by therapeutic resistance for which the basis is poorly understood. Here, we report that the DNA and p53-binding protein ATDC/TRIM29, which is highly expressed in PDAC, plays a critical role in DNA damage signaling and radioresistance in pancreatic cancer cells. Ataxia-telangiectasia group D-associated gene (ATDC) mediated resistance to ionizing radiation in vitro and in vivo in mouse xenograft assays. ATDC was phosphorylated directly by MAPKAP kinase 2 (MK2) at Ser550 in an ATM-dependent manner. Phosphorylation at Ser-550 by MK2 was required for the radioprotective function of ATDC. Our results identify a DNA repair pathway leading from MK2 and ATM to ATDC, suggesting its candidacy as a therapeutic target to radiosensitize PDAC and improve the efficacy of DNA-damaging treatment.

Ding J, Romani J, Zaborski M, et al.
Inhibition of PI3K/mTOR overcomes nilotinib resistance in BCR-ABL1 positive leukemia cells through translational down-regulation of MDM2.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e83510 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a cytogenetic disorder resulting from formation of the Philadelphia chromosome (Ph), that is, the t(9;22) chromosomal translocation and the formation of the BCR-ABL1 fusion protein. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), such as imatinib and nilotinib, have emerged as leading compounds with which to treat CML. t(9;22) is not restricted to CML, 20-30% of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cases also carry the Ph. However, TKIs are not as effective in the treatment of Ph+ ALL as in CML. In this study, the Ph+ cell lines JURL-MK2 and SUP-B15 were used to investigate TKI resistance mechanisms and the sensitization of Ph+ tumor cells to TKI treatment. The annexin V/PI (propidium iodide) assay revealed that nilotinib induced apoptosis in JURL-MK2 cells, but not in SUP-B15 cells. Since there was no mutation in the tyrosine kinase domain of BCR-ABL1 in cell line SUP-B15, the cells were not generally unresponsive to TKI, as evidenced by dephosphorylation of the BCR-ABL1 downstream targets, Crk-like protein (CrkL) and Grb-associated binder-2 (GAB2). Resistance to apoptosis after nilotinib treatment was accompanied by the constitutive and nilotinib unresponsive activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway. Treatment of SUP-B15 cells with the dual PI3K/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor BEZ235 alone induced apoptosis in a low percentage of cells, while combining nilotinib and BEZ235 led to a synergistic effect. The main role of PI3K/mTOR inhibitor BEZ235 and the reason for apoptosis in the nilotinib-resistant cells was the block of the translational machinery, leading to the rapid downregulation of the anti-apoptotic protein MDM2 (human homolog of the murine double minute-2). These findings highlight MDM2 as a potential therapeutic target to increase TKI-mediated apoptosis and imply that the combination of PI3K/mTOR inhibitor and TKI might form a novel strategy to combat TKI-resistant BCR-ABL1 positive leukemia.

Morandell S, Reinhardt HC, Cannell IG, et al.
A reversible gene-targeting strategy identifies synthetic lethal interactions between MK2 and p53 in the DNA damage response in vivo.
Cell Rep. 2013; 5(4):868-77 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A fundamental limitation in devising new therapeutic strategies for killing cancer cells with DNA damaging agents is the need to identify synthetic lethal interactions between tumor-specific mutations and components of the DNA damage response (DDR) in vivo. The stress-activated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/MAPKAP kinase-2 (MK2) pathway is a critical component of the DDR network in p53-deficient tumor cells in vitro. To explore the relevance of this pathway for cancer therapy in vivo, we developed a specific gene targeting strategy in which Cre-mediated recombination simultaneously creates isogenic MK2-proficient and MK2-deficient tumors within a single animal. This allows direct identification of MK2 synthetic lethality with mutations that promote tumor development or control response to genotoxic treatment. In an autochthonous model of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), we demonstrate that MK2 is responsible for resistance of p53-deficient tumors to cisplatin, indicating synthetic lethality between p53 and MK2 can successfully be exploited for enhanced sensitization of tumors to DNA-damaging chemotherapeutics in vivo.

Yang L, Liu B, Qiu F, et al.
The effect of functional MAPKAPK2 copy number variation CNV-30450 on elevating nasopharyngeal carcinoma risk is modulated by EBV infection.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(1):46-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Mitogen-activated protein kinase-activated protein kinase 2 (MAPKAPK2) is recognized as oncogenic and simulative role on tumorigenesis by virtue of abnormal expression in cancer including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). We hypothesized that the copy number variation (CNV)-30450, which duplicates the MAPKAPK2 promoter, may affect MAPKAPK2 expression and be associated with NPC risk. In two independent case-control panels of southern and eastern Chinese with a total of 1590 NPC patients and 1979 cancer-free controls, we investigated the association between CNV-30450 and NPC risk by genotyping the CNV-30450 with the TaqMan assay, and tested its biological effect. Consistent findings were observed in the two populations, that the increased copy number of CNV-30450 was associated with increased risk of NPC (3/4-copy versus 2-copy: odds ratio = 1.28, 95% confidence interval = 1.10-1.49), in which lies a biological mechanism that the adverse genotypes enhanced the promoter activity of MAPKAPK2 and elevated MAPKAPK2 expression. Moreover, the CNV-30450 adverse genotypes significantly interacted with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection on increasing NPC risk (P = 0.035), and the genotype-phenotype correlation was only significant in EBV-positive cases (P = 0.037) but not in EBV-negative ones (P = 0.366). These data suggest that the functional CNV-30450 in the MAPKAPK2 promoter elevates the NPC risk with a modulation by EBV infection, which may be an indicator of susceptibility to NPC.
SUMMARY: This case-control study suggests that the functional CNV-30450 in the MAPKAPK2 promoter elevates the NPC risk with a modulation by EBV infection, which may be an indicator of susceptibility to NPC.

Novellasdemunt L, Bultot L, Manzano A, et al.
PFKFB3 activation in cancer cells by the p38/MK2 pathway in response to stress stimuli.
Biochem J. 2013; 452(3):531-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
PFK-2/FBPase-2 (6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase) catalyses the synthesis and degradation of Fru-2,6-P2 (fructose 2,6-bisphosphate), a key modulator of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. The PFKFB3 gene is involved in cell proliferation owing to its role in carbohydrate metabolism. In the present study we analysed the mechanism of regulation of PFKFB3 as an immediate early gene controlled by stress stimuli that activates the p38/MK2 [MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase)-activated protein kinase 2] pathway. We report that exposure of HeLa and T98G cells to different stress stimuli (NaCl, H2O2, UV radiation and anisomycin) leads to a rapid increase (15-30 min) in PFKFB3 mRNA levels. The use of specific inhibitors in combination with MK2-deficient cells implicate control by the protein kinase MK2. Transient transfection of HeLa cells with deleted gene promoter constructs allowed us to identify an SRE (serum-response element) to which SRF (serum-response factor) binds and thus transactivates PFKFB3 gene transcription. Direct binding of phospho-SRF to the SRE sequence (-918 nt) was confirmed by ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipiation) assays. Moreover, PFKFB3 isoenzyme phosphorylation at Ser461 by MK2 increases PFK-2 activity. Taken together, the results of the present study suggest a multimodal mechanism of stress stimuli affecting PFKFB3 transcriptional regulation and kinase activation by protein phosphorylation, resulting in an increase in Fru-2,6-P2 concentration and stimulation of glycolysis in cancer cells.

Olajide OA, Bhatia HS, de Oliveira AC, et al.
Anti-neuroinflammatory properties of synthetic cryptolepine in human neuroblastoma cells: possible involvement of NF-κB and p38 MAPK inhibition.
Eur J Med Chem. 2013; 63:333-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cryptolepis sanguinolenta and its bioactive alkaloid, cryptolepine have shown anti-inflammatory activity. However, the underlying mechanism of anti-inflammatory action in neuronal cells has not been investigated. In the present study we evaluated an extract of C. sanguinolenta (CSE) and cryptolepine (CAS) on neuroinflammation induced with IL-1β in SK-N-SH neuroblastoma cells. We then attempted to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the anti-neuroinflammatory effects of CAS in SK-N-SH cells. Cells were stimulated with 10 U/ml of IL-1β in the presence or absence of different concentrations of CSE (25-200 μg/ml) and CAS (2.5-20 μM). After 24 h incubation, culture media were collected to measure the production of PGE2 and the pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNFα and IL-6). Protein and gene expressions of cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and microsomal prostaglandin synthase-1 (mPGES-1) were studied by immunoblotting and qPCR, respectively. CSE produced significant (p < 0.05) inhibition of TNFα, IL-6 and PGE2 production in SK-N-SH cells. Studies on CAS showed significant and dose-dependent inhibition of TNFα, IL-6 and PGE2 production in IL-1β-stimulated cells without affecting viability. Pre-treatment with CAS (10 and 20 μM) was also found to inhibit IL-1β-induced protein and gene expressions of COX-2 and mPGES-1. Further studies to determine the mechanism of action of CAS showed inhibition of NF-κBp65 nuclear translocation, but not IκB phosphorylation. At 10 and 20 μM, CAS inhibited IL-1β-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. Studies on the downstream substrate of p38, MAPK-activated protein kinase 2 (MAPKAPK2) showed that CAS produced significant (p < 0.05) and dose dependent inhibition of MAPKAPK2 phosphorylation in IL-1β-stimulated SK-N-SH cells. This study clearly shows that cryptolepine (CAS) inhibits neuroinflammation through mechanisms involving inhibition of COX-2 and mPGES-1. It is suggested that these actions are probably mediated through NF-κB and p38 signalling.

Tate CM, Blosser W, Wyss L, et al.
LY2228820 dimesylate, a selective inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, reduces angiogenic endothelial cord formation in vitro and in vivo.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(9):6743-53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
LY2228820 dimesylate is a highly selective small molecule inhibitor of p38α and p38β mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) that is currently under clinical investigation for human malignancies. p38 MAPK is implicated in a wide range of biological processes, in particular those that support tumorigenesis. One such process, angiogenesis, is required for tumor growth and metastasis, and many new cancer therapies are therefore directed against the tumor vasculature. Using an in vitro co-culture endothelial cord formation assay, a surrogate of angiogenesis, we investigated the role of p38 MAPK in growth factor- and tumor-driven angiogenesis using LY2228820 dimesylate treatment and by shRNA gene knockdown. p38 MAPK was activated in endothelial cells upon growth factor stimulation, with inhibition by LY2228820 dimesylate treatment causing a significant decrease in VEGF-, bFGF-, EGF-, and IL-6-induced endothelial cord formation and an even more dramatic decrease in tumor-driven cord formation. In addition to involvement in downstream cytokine signaling, p38 MAPK was important for VEGF, bFGF, EGF, IL-6, and other proangiogenic cytokine secretion in stromal and tumor cells. LY2228820 dimesylate results were substantiated using p38α MAPK-specific shRNA and shRNA against the downstream p38 MAPK effectors MAPKAPK-2 and HSP27. Using in vivo models of functional neoangiogenesis, LY2228820 dimesylate treatment reduced hemoglobin content in a plug assay and decreased VEGF-A-stimulated vascularization in a mouse ear model. Thus, p38α MAPK is implicated in tumor angiogenesis through direct tumoral effects and through reduction of proangiogenic cytokine secretion via the microenvironment.

Lin SP, Lee YT, Wang JY, et al.
Survival of cancer stem cells under hypoxia and serum depletion via decrease in PP2A activity and activation of p38-MAPKAPK2-Hsp27.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(11):e49605 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hypoxia and serum depletion are common features of solid tumors that occur upon antiangiogenesis, irradiation and chemotherapy across a wide variety of malignancies. Here we show that tumor cells expressing CD133, a marker for colorectal cancer initiating or stem cells, are enriched and survive under hypoxia and serum depletion conditions, whereas CD133- cells undergo apoptosis. CD133+ tumor cells increase cancer stem cell and epithelial-mesenchymal transition properties. Moreover, via screening a panel of tyrosine and serine/threonine kinase pathways, we identified Hsp27 is constitutively activated in CD133+ cells rather than CD133- cell under hypoxia and serum depletion conditions. However, there was no difference in Hsp27 activation between CD133+ and CD133- cells under normal growth condition. Hsp27 activation, which was mediated by the p38MAPK-MAPKAPK2-Hsp27 pathway, is required for CD133+ cells to inhibit caspase 9 and 3 cleavage. In addition, inhibition of Hsp27 signaling sensitizes CD133+ cells to hypoxia and serum depletion -induced apoptosis. Moreover, the antiapoptotic pathway is also activated in spheroid culture-enriched CD133+ cancer stem cells from a variety of solid tumor cells including lung, brain and oral cancer, suggesting it is a common pathway activated in cancer stem cells from multiple tumor types. Thus, activation of PP2A or inactivation of the p38MAPK-MAPKAPK2-Hsp27 pathway may develop new strategies for cancer therapy by suppression of their TIC population.

Forthun RB, Sengupta T, Skjeldam HK, et al.
Cross-species functional genomic analysis identifies resistance genes of the histone deacetylase inhibitor valproic acid.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(11):e48992 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The mechanisms of successful epigenetic reprogramming in cancer are not well characterized as they involve coordinated removal of repressive marks and deposition of activating marks by a large number of histone and DNA modification enzymes. Here, we have used a cross-species functional genomic approach to identify conserved genetic interactions to improve therapeutic effect of the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) valproic acid, which increases survival in more than 20% of patients with advanced acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Using a bidirectional synthetic lethality screen revealing genes that increased or decreased VPA sensitivity in C. elegans, we identified novel conserved sensitizers and synthetic lethal interactors of VPA. One sensitizer identified as a conserved determinant of therapeutic success of HDACi was UTX (KDM6A), which demonstrates a functional relationship between protein acetylation and lysine-specific methylation. The synthetic lethal screen identified resistance programs that compensated for the HDACi-induced global hyper-acetylation, and confirmed MAPKAPK2, HSP90AA1, HSP90AB1 and ACTB as conserved hubs in a resistance program for HDACi that are drugable in human AML cell lines. Hence, these resistance hubs represent promising novel targets for refinement of combinatorial epigenetic anti-cancer therapy.

Höpker K, Hagmann H, Khurshid S, et al.
AATF/Che-1 acts as a phosphorylation-dependent molecular modulator to repress p53-driven apoptosis.
EMBO J. 2012; 31(20):3961-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Following genotoxic stress, cells activate a complex signalling network to arrest the cell cycle and initiate DNA repair or apoptosis. The tumour suppressor p53 lies at the heart of this DNA damage response. However, it remains incompletely understood, which signalling molecules dictate the choice between these different cellular outcomes. Here, we identify the transcriptional regulator apoptosis-antagonizing transcription factor (AATF)/Che-1 as a critical regulator of the cellular outcome of the p53 response. Upon genotoxic stress, AATF is phosphorylated by the checkpoint kinase MK2. Phosphorylation results in the release of AATF from cytoplasmic MRLC3 and subsequent nuclear translocation where AATF binds to the PUMA, BAX and BAK promoter regions to repress p53-driven expression of these pro-apoptotic genes. In xenograft experiments, mice exhibit a dramatically enhanced response of AATF-depleted tumours following genotoxic chemotherapy with adriamycin. The exogenous expression of a phospho-mimicking AATF point mutant results in marked adriamycin resistance in vivo. Nuclear AATF enrichment appears to be selected for in p53-proficient endometrial cancers. Furthermore, focal copy number gains at the AATF locus in neuroblastoma, which is known to be almost exclusively p53-proficient, correlate with an adverse prognosis and reduced overall survival. These data identify the p38/MK2/AATF signalling module as a critical repressor of p53-driven apoptosis and commend this pathway as a target for DNA damage-sensitizing therapeutic regimens.

Liu B, Yang L, Huang B, et al.
A functional copy-number variation in MAPKAPK2 predicts risk and prognosis of lung cancer.
Am J Hum Genet. 2012; 91(2):384-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mitogen-activated protein kinase-activated protein kinase 2 (MAPKAPK2) may promote cancer development and progression by inducing tumorigenesis and drug resistance. To assess whether the copy-number variation g.CNV-30450 located in the MAPKAPK2 promoter has any effect on lung cancer risk or prognosis, we investigated the association between g.CNV-30450 and cancer risk in three independent case-control studies of 2,332 individuals with lung cancer and 2,457 controls and the effects of g.CNV-30450 on cancer prognosis in 1,137 individuals with lung cancer with survival data in southern and eastern Chinese populations. We found that those subjects who had four copies of g.CNV-30450 had an increased cancer risk (odds ratio = 1.94, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.61-2.35) and a worse prognosis for individuals with lung cancer (with a median survival time of only 9 months) (hazard ratio = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.22-1.78) compared with those with two or three copies (with a median survival time of 14 months). Meanwhile, four copies of g.CNV-30450 significantly increased MAPKAPK2 expression, both in vitro and in vivo, compared with two or three copies. Our study establishes a robust association between the functional g.CNV-30450 in MAPKAPK2 and risk as well as prognosis of lung cancer, and it presents this functional copy-number variation as a potential biomarker for susceptibility to and prognosis for lung cancer.

Daemen A, Wolf DM, Korkola JE, et al.
Cross-platform pathway-based analysis identifies markers of response to the PARP inhibitor olaparib.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012; 135(2):505-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) is an enzyme involved in DNA repair. PARP inhibitors can act as chemosensitizers, or operate on the principle of synthetic lethality when used as single agent. Clinical trials have shown drugs in this class to be promising for BRCA mutation carriers. We postulated that inability to demonstrate response in non-BRCA carriers in which BRCA is inactivated by other mechanisms or with deficiency in homologous recombination for DNA repair is due to lack of molecular markers that define a responding subpopulation. We identified candidate markers for this purpose for olaparib (AstraZeneca) by measuring inhibitory effects of nine concentrations of olaparib in 22 breast cancer cell lines and identifying features in transcriptional and genome copy number profiles that were significantly correlated with response. We emphasized in this discovery process genes involved in DNA repair. We found that the cell lines that were sensitive to olaparib had a significant lower copy number of BRCA1 compared to the resistant cell lines (p value 0.012). In addition, we discovered seven genes from DNA repair pathways whose transcriptional levels were associated with response. These included five genes (BRCA1, MRE11A, NBS1, TDG, and XPA) whose transcript levels were associated with resistance and two genes (CHEK2 and MK2) whose transcript levels were associated with sensitivity. We developed an algorithm to predict response using the seven-gene transcription levels and applied it to 1,846 invasive breast cancer samples from 8 U133A/plus 2 (Affymetrix) data sets and found that 8-21 % of patients would be predicted to be responsive to olaparib. A similar response frequency was predicted in 536 samples analyzed on an Agilent platform. Importantly, tumors predicted to respond were enriched in basal subtype tumors. Our studies support clinical evaluation of the utility of our seven-gene signature as a predictor of response to olaparib.

Yao Y, Fang ZP, Chen H, et al.
HGFK1 inhibits bone metastasis in breast cancer through the TAK1/p38 MAPK signaling pathway.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2012; 19(9):601-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer metastasis to bone represents a devastating complication of advanced breast cancer, frequently resulting in significant increases in morbidity and mortality. An understanding of the mechanisms that govern breast cancer metastasis at the molecular level should lead to more effective therapies. Recently, the kringle 1 domain of human hepatocyte growth factor (HGFK1) was identified as a candidate metastasis suppressor gene. Here, we investigated whether HGFK1 is a key regulator of breast cancer bone metastasis. Of the 193 human breast carcinoma tissue samples examined, HGFK1 expression was relative higher in 82 (42.4%) by western blot and in 84 (43.5%) by quantitative real-time PCR. The higher expression of HGFK1 was significantly associated with a better prognostic value (P<0.001) and inversely correlated with bone metastasis (P=0.003). The efficacy of adeno-associated virus carrying HGFK1 (AAV-HGFK1) in osteolytic bone metastasis was then evaluated using an in vivo bone metastasis model. AAV-HGFK1 significantly inhibited osteolytic bone metastasis and prolonged the survival of mice in this model (P<0.01). In vitro, HGFK1 expression resulted in significant anti-invasion effects, enhanced the phosphorylation of TAK1 (transforming growth factor-β-activated kinase 1), p38 MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) and MAPKAPK2 (MAPK-activated protein kinase 2) and decreased the expression of receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB (RANK), which was abrogated by the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580. This study shows for the first time that HGFK1 significantly inhibits the metastasis of breast cancer to bone by activating the TAK1/p38 MAPK signaling pathway and inhibiting RANK expression. Thus, AAV-HGFK1 treatment represents a potential therapy for bone metastasis in breast cancer.

Birner P, Beer A, Vinatzer U, et al.
MAPKAP kinase 2 overexpression influences prognosis in gastrointestinal stromal tumors and associates with copy number variations on chromosome 1 and expression of p38 MAP kinase and ETV1.
Clin Cancer Res. 2012; 18(7):1879-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: ETV1 has been proposed to be activated by KIT mutations in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). The aim of the study was to evaluate the clinical role of ETV1 and associated proteins in GIST.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Expressions of ETV1, MAPKAP kinase 2 (MAPKAPK2), phosphorylated p38 MAP kinase (pp38), phosphorylated MSK1 (pMSK1), phosphorylated RSK1, COP1, and KIT protein were determined immunohistochemically in 139 GISTs. Sequence analysis of KIT, PDGFRA, and MAPKAPK2 and FISHs of ETV1 as well as chromosomes 1 and 7 were done.
RESULTS: Prominent ETV1 expression was seen in 50% of GISTs, but no correlation with clinical outcome was found. Correlation of ETV1 expression and KIT mutation was seen in 60% of cases. MAPKAPK2 overexpression (n = 62/44.6%) correlated with pp38 expression (P = 0.021, χ(2) test) and alterations of chromosome 1 (n = 17, P = 0.024, χ(2) test). In one of 20 sequenced cases with high MAKAPK2 expression, a putative damaging MAPKAPK2 gene mutation was found. All relapsing GISTs with very low/low risk according to Fletcher showed high MAPKAPK2 and KIT expression. MAPKAPK2 overexpression was an independent prognostic factor for disease-free survival (P = 0.006, Cox regression).
CONCLUSION: ETV1 is not universally overexpressed in GIST and seems to also be induced by pathways other than KIT mutation. Nevertheless, its clinical relevance is low. Overexpression of ETV1 inhibitor MAPKAPK2 is associated with shorter survival in GIST, indicating a clinically relevant role of this gene not reported previously. Patients with low-risk GISTs showing MAPKAPK2 overexpression might profit from early adjuvant tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy.

Bremmer F, Thelen P, Pottek T, et al.
Expression and function of the vitamin D receptor in malignant germ cell tumour of the testis.
Anticancer Res. 2012; 32(1):341-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs) are the most common malignancy in young men aged 18-35 years. They are clinically and histologically subdivided into seminomas and non-seminomas. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)) is the active form of vitamin D and exerts its actions via a specific intracellular vitamin D receptor (VDR). Several investigations in the recent years have revealed, in addition to a physiological occurrence of the VDR in various tissues, VDR expression in different human malignancies. Furthermore, 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) plays an important role in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. In different normal and malignant cell types, antiproliferative and pro-differentiating effects of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) are described. We investigated whether TGCT express the VDR, wether differences exist between the histological subtypes and if vitamin D has a function on the proliferation of tumour cells. Furthermore, we investigated the potential function of the vitamin D-regulated genes nuclear receptor co-repressor 1(NCOR1), nuclear receptor co-repressor 2 (NCOR2), thyroid receptor interacting protein 15 (TRIP15), Growth Arrest and DNA Damage (GADD45), MAP kinase-activated protein kinase 2 (MAPKAPK2), Cytochrome P450, family 24, subfamily A, polypeptide 1 (CYP24A1) and Cytochrome P450, family 27, subfamily B, polypeptide 1 (CYP27B1) in the pathogenesis of TGCT. We demonstrate, for the first time, that primary TGCT as well as TGCT cell lines, express VDR mRNA and protein. Vitamin D and VDR may play a role in the pathogenesis of TGCTs. Furthermore, vitamin D inhibits proliferation of TGCT cell-lines, potentially via an increase in expression of GADD45. Our data suggest that vitamin D could play a role in antitumour therapy.

Bai LY, Ma Y, Kulp SK, et al.
OSU-DY7, a novel D-tyrosinol derivative, mediates cytotoxicity in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and Burkitt lymphoma through p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway.
Br J Haematol. 2011; 153(5):623-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Drug resistance and associated immune deregulation limit use of current therapies in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), thus warranting alternative therapy development. Herein we demonstrate that OSU-DY7, a novel D-tyrosinol derivative targeting p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), mediates cytotoxicity in lymphocytic cell lines representing CLL (MEC-1), acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (697 cells), Burkitt lymphoma (Raji and Ramos) and primary B cells from CLL patients in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The OSU-DY7-induced cytotoxicity is dependent on caspase activation, as evidenced by induction of caspase-3 activation and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage and rescue of cytotoxicity by Z-VAD-FMK. Interestingly, OSU-DY7-induced cytotoxicity is mediated through activation of p38 MAPK, as evidenced by increased phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and downstream target protein MAPKAPK2. Pretreatment of B-CLL cells with SB202190, a specific p38 MAPK inhibitor, results in decreased MAPKAPK2 protein level with concomitant rescue of the cells from OSU-DY7-mediated cytotoxicity. Furthermore, OSU-DY7-induced cytotoxicity is associated with down regulation of p38 MAPK target BIRC5, that is rescued at protein and mRNA levels by SB202190. This study provides evidence for a role of OSU-DY7 in p38 MAPK activation and BIRC5 down regulation associated with apoptosis in B lymphocytic cells, thus warranting development of this alternative therapy for lymphoid malignancies.

Xu J, Walsh SB, Verney ZM, et al.
Procarcinogenic effects of cyclosporine A are mediated through the activation of TAK1/TAB1 signaling pathway.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011; 408(3):363-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cyclosporine A (CsA) is an immunosuppressive drug commonly used for maintaining chronic immune suppression in organ transplant recipients. It is known that patients receiving CsA manifest increased growth of aggressive non-melanoma skin cancers. However, the underlying mechanism by which CsA augments tumor growth is not fully understood. Here, we show that CsA augments the growth of A431 epidermoid carcinoma xenograft tumors by activating tumor growth factor β-activated kinase1 (TAK1). The activation of TAK1 by CsA occurs at multiple levels by kinases ZMP, AMPK and IRAK. TAK1 forms heterodimeric complexes with TAK binding protein 1 and 2 (TAB1/TAB2) which in term activate nuclear factor κB (NFκB) and p38 MAP kinase. Transcriptional activation of NFκB is evidenced by IKKβ-mediated phosphorylation-dependent degradation of IκB and consequent nuclear translocation of p65. This also leads to enhancement in the expression of its transcriptional target genes cyclin D1, Bcl2 and COX-2. Similarly, activation of p38 leads to enhanced inflammation-related signaling shown by increased phosphorylation of MAPKAPK2 and which in turn phosphorylates its substrate HSP27. Activation of both NFκB and p38 MAP kinase provide mitogenic stimuli to augment the growth of SCCs.

Takaguchi M, Takahashi T, Hosokawa C, et al.
A single amino acid mutation at position 170 of human parainfluenza virus type 1 fusion glycoprotein induces obvious syncytium formation and caspase-3-dependent cell death.
J Biochem. 2011; 149(2):191-202 [PubMed] Related Publications
An escape mutant of human parainfluenza virus type 1 (hPIV1), which was selected by serial passage in the presence of a sialidase inhibitor, 4-O-thiocarbamoylmethyl-2-deoxy-2,3-didehydro-N-acetylneur-aminic acid (TCM-Neu5Ac2en), exhibited remarkable syncytium formation and virus-induced cell death in LLC-MK2 cells but no difference in susceptibility for the sialidase inhibitor TCM-Neu5Ac2en from that of wild-type hPIV1 strain C35 (WT). The mutant virus also had higher replication and plaque formation abilities. The mutant virus acquired two amino acid mutations, Glu to Gly at position 170 and Ala to Glu 442 in fusion (F) glycoprotein, but no mutations in haemaggulutinin-neuraminidase (HN) glycoprotein. Using cells co-expressing F and HN genes with site-specific mutagenesis, we demonstrated that a point mutation of Glu to Gly at position 170, which was estimated to be located in hPIV1 F glycoprotein heptad repeat 1, was required for obvious syncytium formation and caspase-3-dependent cell death. In contrast, wild-type F glycoprotein induced no synctium formation or cell death. The findings suggest that a single amino acid mutation of hPIV1 F glycoprotein promotes syncytium formation that is followed by caspase-3-dependent cell death.

Reinhardt HC, Hasskamp P, Schmedding I, et al.
DNA damage activates a spatially distinct late cytoplasmic cell-cycle checkpoint network controlled by MK2-mediated RNA stabilization.
Mol Cell. 2010; 40(1):34-49 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Following genotoxic stress, cells activate a complex kinase-based signaling network to arrest the cell cycle and initiate DNA repair. p53-defective tumor cells rewire their checkpoint response and become dependent on the p38/MK2 pathway for survival after DNA damage, despite a functional ATR-Chk1 pathway. We used functional genetics to dissect the contributions of Chk1 and MK2 to checkpoint control. We show that nuclear Chk1 activity is essential to establish a G(2)/M checkpoint, while cytoplasmic MK2 activity is critical for prolonged checkpoint maintenance through a process of posttranscriptional mRNA stabilization. Following DNA damage, the p38/MK2 complex relocalizes from nucleus to cytoplasm where MK2 phosphorylates hnRNPA0, to stabilize Gadd45α mRNA, while p38 phosphorylates and releases the translational inhibitor TIAR. In addition, MK2 phosphorylates PARN, blocking Gadd45α mRNA degradation. Gadd45α functions within a positive feedback loop, sustaining the MK2-dependent cytoplasmic sequestration of Cdc25B/C to block mitotic entry in the presence of unrepaired DNA damage. Our findings demonstrate a critical role for the MK2 pathway in the posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression as part of the DNA damage response in cancer cells.

Yoo J, Kang J, Lee HN, et al.
Kaposin-B enhances the PROX1 mRNA stability during lymphatic reprogramming of vascular endothelial cells by Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus.
PLoS Pathog. 2010; 6(8):e1001046 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is the most common cancer among HIV-positive patients. Histogenetic origin of KS has long been elusive due to a mixed expression of both blood and lymphatic endothelial markers in KS tumor cells. However, we and others discovered that Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus (KSHV) induces lymphatic reprogramming of blood vascular endothelial cells by upregulating PROX1, which functions as the master regulator for lymphatic endothelial differentiation. Here, we demonstrate that the KSHV latent gene kaposin-B enhances the PROX1 mRNA stability and plays an important role in KSHV-mediated PROX1 upregulation. We found that PROX1 mRNA contains a canonical AU-rich element (ARE) in its 3'-untranslated region that promotes PROX1 mRNA turnover and that kaposin-B stimulates cytoplasmic accumulation of the ARE-binding protein HuR through activation of the p38/MK2 pathway. Moreover, HuR binds to and stabilizes PROX1 mRNA through its ARE and is necessary for KSHV-mediated PROX1 mRNA stabilization. Together, our study demonstrates that kaposin-B plays a key role in PROX1 upregulation during lymphatic reprogramming of blood vascular endothelial cells by KSHV.

Zenvirt S, Kravchenko-Balasha N, Levitzki A
Status of p53 in human cancer cells does not predict efficacy of CHK1 kinase inhibitors combined with chemotherapeutic agents.
Oncogene. 2010; 29(46):6149-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA damage checkpoints cause cell cycle arrest, allowing DNA repair before resumption of the cell cycle. These checkpoints can be activated through several signaling pathways. Checkpoint activators include p53, checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1), checkpoint kinase 2 and/or MAPKAP kinase 2 (MK2). Many cancer cells lack p53 activity and, therefore, depend on alternative checkpoint activators to arrest the cell cycle following DNA damage. Inhibition of these pathways is expected to specifically sensitize these p53-deficient cells to DNA damage caused by chemotherapy. Using isogenic p53-proficient and p53-deficient cancer cell lines, we show that inactivation of CHK1, but not MK2, abrogates cell cycle arrest following chemotherapy, specifically in p53-deficient cells. However, we show that CHK1 is required to maintain genome integrity and cell viability, and that p53-proficient cells are no less sensitive than p53-deficient cells to CHK1 inhibition in the presence of DNA damage. Thus, combining CHK1 inhibition with DNA damage does not lead to preferential killing of p53-deficient over p53-proficient cells, and inhibiting CHK1 does not appear to be a promising approach for potentiation of cancer chemotherapy.

Gerits N, Shiryaev A, Kostenko S, et al.
The transcriptional regulation and cell-specific expression of the MAPK-activated protein kinase MK5.
Cell Mol Biol Lett. 2009; 14(4):548-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades regulate important cellular processes, including growth, differentiation, apoptosis, embryogenesis, motility and gene expression. Although MAPKs mostly appear to be constitutively expressed, the transcript levels of some MAPK-encoding genes increase upon treatment with specific stimuli. This applies to the MAPK-activated protein kinases MK2 and MK3. By contrast, the transcriptional regulation of the related MK5 has not yet been studied. The MK5 promoters of mouse, rat and human contain a plethora of putative transcription factor sites, and the spatio-temporal expression of MK5 suggests inducible transcription of the gene. We examined the transcription pattern of MK5 in different tissues, and studied the kinetics of MK5 expression at the transcriptional and/or translation level in PC12 cells exposed to arsenite, forskolin, KCl, lipopolysaccharide, spermine NONOate, retinoic acid, serum, phorbol ester, temperature shock, and vanadate. Cells exposed to forskolin display a transient increase in MK5 mRNA, despite their unaltered MK5 protein levels. The MK5 promoters of human, mouse and rat contain a cAMP-responsive element that binds the cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB) in vitro. Luciferase reporter constructs containing an 850-base pair human MK5 promoter fragment encompassing the CRE showed a basal activity that was 10-fold higher than the corresponding construct in which the CRE motif was deleted. siRNA-mediated depletion of CREB had no effect on the endogenous MK5 protein levels. Several binding motifs for heat shock factor are dispersed in the mouse and rat promoter, and temperature shock transiently enhanced the MK5 transcript levels. None of the other tested stimuli had an effect on the MK5 mRNA or protein levels. Our results indicate an inducible regulation of MK5 transcription in response to specific stimuli. However, the MK5 protein levels remained unaffected by all the stimuli tested. There is still no explanation for the discrepancy between the increased mRNA and unchanged MK5 protein levels.

Felix RS, Colleoni GW, Caballero OL, et al.
SAGE analysis highlights the importance of p53csv, ddx5, mapkapk2 and ranbp2 to multiple myeloma tumorigenesis.
Cancer Lett. 2009; 278(1):41-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) allows a comprehensive profiling of gene expression within a given tissue and also an assessment of transcript abundance. We generated SAGE libraries from normal and neoplastic plasma cells to identify genes differentially expressed in multiple myeloma (MM). Normal plasma cells were obtained from palatine tonsils and MM SAGE library was generated from bone marrow plasma cells of MM patients. We obtained 29,918 SAGE tags from normal and 10,340 tags from tumor libraries. Computer-generated genomic analysis identified 46 upregulated genes in the MM library. Ten upregulated genes were selected for further investigation. Differential expression was validated by quantitative real-time PCR in purified plasma cells of 31 patients and three controls. P53CSV, DDX5, MAPKAPK2 and RANBP2 were found to be upregulated in at least 50% of the MM cases tested. All of them were also found upregulated in MM when compared to normal plasma cells in a meta-analysis using ONCOMINE microarray database. Antibodies specific to DDX5, RANBP2 and MAPKAPK2 were used in a TMA containing 57 MM cases and confirmed the expression of these proteins in 74%, 96%, and 21% of the MM samples, respectively. Analysis of differential expression using SAGE could identify genes important for myeloma tumorigenesis (P53CSV, DDX5, MAPKPK2 and RANBP2) and that could potentially be useful as therapeutic targets.

Rosner M, Hanneder M, Siegel N, et al.
The tuberous sclerosis gene products hamartin and tuberin are multifunctional proteins with a wide spectrum of interacting partners.
Mutat Res. 2008 Mar-Apr; 658(3):234-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutations in the tumor suppressor genes TSC1 and TSC2, encoding hamartin and tuberin, respectively, cause the tumor syndrome tuberous sclerosis with similar phenotypes. Until now, over 50 proteins have been demonstrated to interact with hamartin and/or tuberin. Besides tuberin, the proteins DOCK7, ezrin/radixin/moesin, FIP200, IKKbeta, Melted, Merlin, NADE(p75NTR), NF-L, Plk1 and TBC7 have been found to interact with hamartin. Whereas Plk1 and TBC7 have been demonstrated not to bind to tuberin, for all the other hamartin-interacting proteins the question, whether they can also bind to tuberin, has not been studied. Tuberin interacts with 14-3-3 beta,epsilon,gamma,eta,sigma,tau,zeta, Akt, AMPK, CaM, CRB3/PATJ, cyclin A, cyclins D1, D2, D3, Dsh, ERalpha, Erk, FoxO1, HERC1, HPV16 E6, HSCP-70, HSP70-1, MK2, NEK1, p27KIP1, Pam, PC1, PP2Ac, Rabaptin-5, Rheb, RxRalpha/VDR and SMAD2/3. 14-3-3 beta,epsilon,gamma,eta,sigma,tau,zeta, Akt, Dsh, FoxO1, HERC1, p27KIP1 and PP2Ac are known not to bind to hamartin. For the other tuberin-interacting proteins this question remains elusive. The proteins axin, Cdk1, cyclin B1, GADD34, GSK3, mTOR and RSK1 have been found to co-immunoprecipitate with both, hamartin and tuberin. The kinases Cdk1 and IKKbeta phosphorylate hamartin, Erk, Akt, MK2, AMPK and RSK1 phosphorylate tuberin, and GSK3 phosphorylates both, hamartin and tuberin. This detailed summary of protein interactions allows new insights into their relevance for the wide variety of different functions of hamartin and tuberin.

Gober MD, Laing JM, Burnett JW, Aurelian L
The Herpes simplex virus gene Pol expressed in herpes-associated erythema multiforme lesions upregulates/activates SP1 and inflammatory cytokines.
Dermatology. 2007; 215(2):97-106 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Herpes-simplex-virus-associated erythema multiforme (HAEM) is characterized by lesional skin expression of the viral protein Pol and localized inflammation. The objective of this study is to examine the mechanism whereby Pol induces localized inflammation.
METHODS: A431 cells transfected with Pol or an empty vector and lesional skin from HAEM or drug-induced erythema multiforme patients were examined for expression of the transcription factor SP1 and SP1-regulated genes by immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence.
RESULTS: SP1, TGF-beta, p21(waf1) and Hsp27 were upregulated in A431 cells transfected with Pol but not the empty vector. Expression was further increased by exposure to IFN-gamma. Pol+ HAEM lesional skin expressed SP1, Hsp27, TGF-beta and p21(waf1). Normal skin and drug-induced erythema multiforme lesional skin were negative.
CONCLUSION: The data indicate that Pol activates SP1, causing upregulation of SP1 target genes (notably TGF-beta) involved in localized inflammation. Upregulation is potentiated by IFN-gamma.

Ogawa K, Utsunomiya T, Mimori K, et al.
Differential gene expression profiles of radioresistant pancreatic cancer cell lines established by fractionated irradiation.
Int J Oncol. 2006; 28(3):705-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
Identification of the genes that are differentially-expressed between radiosensitive and radioresistant cancer cells is important to the ability to predict the clinical effectiveness of radiotherapy. We established radioresistant human pancreatic cancer cell lines using fractionated irradiation in order to identify genes that are differentially-expressed between parental lines and radioresistant cell sublines. Six pancreatic cancer cell lines (PK-1, PK-8, PK-9, T3M4, MiaPaCa2 and PANC-1) were treated with 10 Gy fractionated irradiation at approximately two-week intervals (total dose 150-180 Gy). Five radioresistant sublines (PK-1, PK-8, PK-9, T3M4, and MiaPaCa2) were successfully established. Using oligonucleotide microarrays containing 17,086 genes, we identified 73 up-regulated genes and 55 down-regulated genes common to radioresistant sublines. Subsequent analysis by quantitative RT-PCR confirmed the reliability of our microarray strategy. Up-regulated genes were associated with growth factor (example, amphiregulin), cell-cycle check point (MAPKAPK2), intracellular signaling pathway (regucalcin), and angiogenesis stimulation (angiopoietin 2). Down-regulated genes were associated with apoptosis (caspase 8), retinoid esterification (lecithin retinol acyltransferase), and electron transport (calcium-activated chloride channel 1). Some of these genes have known association with response to radiation, such as caspase 8 and MAPKAPK2, but others are novel. Global gene analysis of radioresistant sublines may provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying clinical radioresistance and to improving the efficacy of radiotherapy for pancreatic cancer.

Chang CC, Hernandez-Guzman FG, Luo W, et al.
Structural basis of antigen mimicry in a clinically relevant melanoma antigen system.
J Biol Chem. 2005; 280(50):41546-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although mimics of human tumor antigens are effective immunogens to overcome host unresponsiveness to the nominal antigen, the structural basis of this mimicry remains poorly defined. Therefore, in this study we have characterized the structural basis of the human high molecular weight-melanoma-associated antigen (HMW-MAA) mimicry by the mouse anti-idiotypic (anti-id) monoclonal antibody (mAb) MK2-23. Using x-ray crystallography, we have characterized the three-dimensional structure of the anti-id mAb MK2-23 Fab' and shown that its heavy chain complementarity-determining region (CDR3) (H3) and its light chain CDR1 (L1) are closely associated. These moieties are the source of HMW-MAA mimicry, since they display partial amino acid sequence homology along with a similar structural fold with the HMW-MAA core protein. Furthermore, a 15-residue peptide comprising the H3 loop of anti-id mAb MK2-23 demonstrates HMW-MAA-like in vitro and in vivo reactivity. This peptide in conjunction with the structural data will facilitate the characterization of the effect of the degree of antigen mimicry on the induction of a self-antigen-specific immune response by a mimic.

Floyd HS, Farnsworth CL, Kock ND, et al.
Conditional expression of the mutant Ki-rasG12C allele results in formation of benign lung adenomas: development of a novel mouse lung tumor model.
Carcinogenesis. 2005; 26(12):2196-206 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To determine the effects of expression of mutant Ki-ras on lung tumorigenesis, we developed a bitransgenic mouse model that expresses the human Ki-ras(G12C) allele in alveolar type II and/or Clara cells in a tetracycline-inducible, lung-specific manner. Expression of Ki-ras(G12C) caused multiple, small lung tumors over a 12-month time period. Although tumor multiplicity increased upon continued Ki-ras expression, most lung lesions were hyperplasias or well-differentiated adenomas. This is in contrast to the more severe phenotypes observed in other transgenic mouse models in which different mutant Ki-ras alleles were expressed in the lung. Expression of Ki-ras(G12C) was associated with a 2-fold increase in the activation of the Ras and Ral signaling pathways and increased phosphorylation of Ras downstream effectors, including Erk, p90 ribosomal S6 kinase, ribosomal S6 protein, p38 and MAPKAPK-2. In contrast, expression of the transgene had no effect on the activation of the JNK and Akt signaling pathways. Withdrawal of doxycycline for 1 month resulted in almost a complete absence of proliferative pulmonary lesions, suggesting tumor regression in the absence of Ki-ras expression. Mutant Ki-ras(G12C) expression was sufficient for initial lung tumor transformation, required for maintenance of tumor phenotype, and induced transformation of lung epithelial cells by the activation of multiple effector pathways. These results describe a novel mouse lung tumor model demonstrating benign tumor development in the absence of tumor progression, which will provide a new tool for understanding the early stages of lung tumor pathogenesis.

Wang HW, Boshoff C
Linking Kaposi virus to cancer-associated cytokines.
Trends Mol Med. 2005; 11(7):309-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Viruses have evolved elaborate strategies to regulate host gene expression, thereby adapting to host stress responses against infection. In a recent report, it was shown that a human oncogenic herpesvirus, Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus, activates the p38-MK2 pathway to stabilise cytokine transcripts. Specifically, a viral latent protein, kaposin B, binds to and activates MK2, leading to the stabilisation of AU-rich element (ARE)-containing mRNAs, which normally have only a short lifespan. Although the exact mechanism for p38-MK2 activation remains unclear, this study provides a new direction linking viral infection to selective mRNA turnover and cytokine biosynthesis.

So AI, Hurtado-Coll A, Gleave ME
Androgens and prostate cancer.
World J Urol. 2003; 21(5):325-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Over 60 years ago Huggins and Hodges demonstrated the importance of androgens and prostate cancer. Since then, significant research has revealed that this relationship is multi-faceted and is interwoven with different signaling cascades and protein coactivators. The complex interrelationship between hormone and cancer is best exemplified by the recurrence and progression of prostate cancer after hormonal therapy to a lethally resistant phenotype despite initially encouraging therapeutic responses. If we are to significantly improve survival with novel therapies, further understanding of the emergence of this resistant phenotype is essential. The purpose of this article is to review the mechanisms of androgen action and its relation to hormonal therapy and mechanisms of hormonal resistance.

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