BMK1 is activated by mitogens and oncogenic signals and, thus, is strongly implicated in tumorigenesis. We found that BMK1 interacted with promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML), and inhibited its tumor-suppressor function through phosphorylation. Furthermore, activated BMK1 notably inhibited PML-dependent activation of p21. To further investigate the BMK-mediated inhibition of the tumor suppressor activity of PML in tumor cells, we developed a small-molecule inhibitor of the kinase activity of BMK1, XMD8-92. Inhibition of BMK1 by XMD8-92 blocked tumor cell proliferation in vitro and significantly inhibited tumor growth in vivo by 95%, demonstrating the efficacy and tolerability of BMK1-targeted cancer treatment in animals.
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