Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Cell Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Pim-1 kinase phosphorylates RUNX family transcription factors and enhances their activity

Teija LT Aho12, Jouko Sandholm1, Katriina J Peltola12, Yoshiaki Ito3 and Päivi J Koskinen1*

Author affiliations

1 Turku Centre for Biotechnology, University of Turku/Åbo Akademi University, Tykistökatu 6 B, 20520 Turku, Finland

2 Turku Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Turku, Kiinamyllynkatu 13, 20520 Turku, Finland

3 Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, 61 Biopolis Drive, Singapore 138673, Singapore

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Cell Biology 2006, 7:21  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-7-21

Published: 9 May 2006

Abstract

Background

The pim family genes encode oncogenic serine/threonine kinases which in hematopoietic cells have been implicated in cytokine-dependent signaling as well as in lymphomagenesis, especially in cooperation with other oncogenes such as myc, bcl-2 or Runx family genes. The Runx genes encode α-subunits of heterodimeric transcription factors which regulate cell proliferation and differentiation in various tissues during development and which can become leukemogenic upon aberrant expression.

Results

Here we have identified novel protein-protein interactions between the Pim-1 kinase and the RUNX family transcription factors. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we were able to show that the C-terminal part of human RUNX3 associates with Pim-1. This result was confirmed in cell culture, where full-length murine Runx1 and Runx3 both coprecipitated and colocalized with Pim-1. Furthermore, catalytically active Pim-1 kinase was able to phosphorylate Runx1 and Runx3 proteins and enhance the transactivation activity of Runx1 in a dose-dependent fashion.

Conclusion

Altogether, our results suggest that mammalian RUNX family transcription factors are novel binding partners and substrates for the Pim-1 kinase, which may be able to regulate their activities during normal hematopoiesis as well as in leukemogenesis.