The precise mechanisms by which Abl oncogenes transform hematopoietic cells are unknown. We have examined the role of Pim kinases in v-Abl-mediated transformation. In v-Abl transformants, expression of Pim-1 and Pim-2, but not Pim-3, is dependent on Abl kinase activity. Transformation assays demonstrate that v-Abl cannot efficiently transform bone marrow cells derived from Pim-1-/-/Pim-2-/- mice. Ectopic expression of either Pim-1 or Pim-2 in Pim-1-/-/Pim-2-/- cells restores transformation by v-Abl, strongly suggesting that either Pim-1 or Pim-2 is required for v-Abl-mediated tumorigenesis. Interestingly, the combined deficiency of Pim-1, Pim-2, and Suppressor of Cytokine Signalling (SOCS)-1 resulted in partial restoration of v-Abl transformation efficiency. In addition, Pim kinases are involved in modification of SOCS-1 and in regulating SOCS-1 protein levels in v-Abl - transformed cells. Furthermore, Pim kinases regulate the proapoptotic proteins Bcl-XS and BAD. Pim kinases inhibit the expression of Bcl-XS. Pim deficiency decreases the phosphorylation levels of BAD, whereas ectopic expression of Pim-1 increases the amount of phospho-BAD. This correlates with an increased protection from apoptosis in Abl transformants expressing Pim kinases. Together, these data suggest that Pim kinases play a key role in the v-Abl transformation, possibly via participating in modulation of SOCS-1 and via regulating the apoptotic signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology