Mitogen-activated protein kinase extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 phosphorylates and promotes Pin1 protein-dependent promyelocytic leukemia protein turnover.
The promyelocytic leukemia (PML) protein is a tumor suppressor that has an important role in several cellular processes, including apoptosis, viral infection, DNA damage repair, cell cycle regulation, and senescence. PML is an essential component of sub-nuclear structures called PML nuclear bodies (NBs). Our laboratory has previously demonstrated that the peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase, Pin1, binds and targets PML for degradation in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. To further elucidate the mechanisms underlying Pin1-mediated PML degradation, we aimed to identify one or more factors that promote PML phosphorylation. Here we show that treatment with U0126, an inhibitor of the ERK2 upstream kinases MEK1/2, leads to an increase in PML protein accumulation and an inhibition of the interaction between Pin1 and PML in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Consistent with this observation, phosphorylated ERK2 partially co-localized with PML NBs. Although U0126 up-regulated exogenous wild-type PML levels, it did not have an effect on the steady-state level of a mutant form of PML that is defective in binding Pin1. In addition, exogenous wild-type, but not Pin1 binding-defective PML protein expression levels were decreased by overexpression of ERK2. In contrast, knockdown of ERK2 by siRNA resulted in an increase in PML protein levels and an increase in the formation of PML NBs. Using phospho-specific antibodies, we identified Ser-403 and Ser-505 as the ERK2 targets that promote Pin1-mediated PML degradation. Finally, we demonstrated that EGF induced activation of ERK and interaction between PML and phosphorylated ERK resulting in a decrease in PML protein levels. Taken together, our results support a model in which Pin1 promotes PML degradation in an ERK2-dependent manner.
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