Gene Summary

Gene:LIMK1; LIM domain kinase 1
Aliases: LIMK, LIMK-1
Summary:There are approximately 40 known eukaryotic LIM proteins, so named for the LIM domains they contain. LIM domains are highly conserved cysteine-rich structures containing 2 zinc fingers. Although zinc fingers usually function by binding to DNA or RNA, the LIM motif probably mediates protein-protein interactions. LIM kinase-1 and LIM kinase-2 belong to a small subfamily with a unique combination of 2 N-terminal LIM motifs and a C-terminal protein kinase domain. LIMK1 is a serine/threonine kinase that regulates actin polymerization via phosphorylation and inactivation of the actin binding factor cofilin. This protein is ubiquitously expressed during development and plays a role in many cellular processes associated with cytoskeletal structure. This protein also stimulates axon growth and may play a role in brain development. LIMK1 hemizygosity is implicated in the impaired visuospatial constructive cognition of Williams syndrome. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms.[provided by RefSeq, Feb 2011]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:LIM domain kinase 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Latest Publications: LIMK1 (cancer-related)

Guo D, Li Y, Chen Y, et al.
DANCR promotes HCC progression and regulates EMT by sponging miR-27a-3p via ROCK1/LIMK1/COFILIN1 pathway.
Cell Prolif. 2019; 52(4):e12628 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: This research aims to verify that the long non-coding RNA differentiation antagonizing nonprotein coding RNA (LncRNA DANCR) could modulate the proliferation and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and it thus may work as a novel biomarker to render new orientation for early diagnosis and clinical therapy of HCC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Firstly, qRT-PCR was used to detect the expression of genes including LncRNA DANCR and miR-27a-3p. Next, MTT assay, Ethynyldeoxyuridine (EdU) analysis and clone formation assay were used for investigating cell growth and proliferation. Meanwhile, transwell assay and wound healing assay were applied to evaluate the capacity of cell metastasis and motility, respectively. In addition, bioinformatic analysis and dual-luciferase reporter assay were applied to analyse molecular interaction. Next, we conducted immunofluorescence and Western blot for mechanic investigation. Last but not the least, xenograft tumours in nude mice were built by subcutaneously injecting Hep3B cells stably transfected with sh-NC and sh-DANCR to detect proliferation and SMMC-7721 cells stably transfected with sh-NC and sh-DANCR to investigate metastasis.
RESULTS: The results of qRT-PCR and bioinformatic analysis revealed the high expression of DANCR in HCC. DANCR accelerated proliferation and metastasis of HCC cells and the knockdown of DANCR had the opposite effect. Meanwhile, xenograft tumours in sh-DANCR group grow slower and have smaller volumes compared with negative control group. Next, the antineoplastic effect of miR-27a-3p on cell growth and motility of HCC was confirmed. In addition, we clarified that DANCR acted as a ceRNA to decoy miR-27a-3p via mediating ROCK1/LIMK1/COFILIN1 pathway. In the end, we validated that DANCR/miR-27a-3p axis regulates EMT progression by cell immunofluorescence and Western blot.
CONCLUSIONS: In a word, DANCR promotes HCC development and induces EMT by decoying miR-27a-3p to regulate ROCK1/LIMK1/COFILIN1 pathway.

Shi B, Ma C, Liu G, Guo Y
MiR-106a directly targets LIMK1 to inhibit proliferation and EMT of oral carcinoma cells.
Cell Mol Biol Lett. 2019; 24:1 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1) expression levels are closely associated with microRNA (miRNA) processing. Higher levels of LIMK1 are reported during the progression of many cancers. Our study explored the interaction between LIMK1 and miR-106a in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
Methods: Quantitative RT-PCR was performed to detect the levels of LIMK1 and miR-106a in OSCC tissues and cell lines. The rates of cell proliferation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) were assessed to determine the biological functions of miR-106a and LIMK1 in OSCC cells. The mRNA and protein levels of LIMK1 were measured using quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting. Luciferase assays were performed to validate LIMK1 as an miR-106a target in OSCC cells.
Results: We found that the level of miR-106a significantly decreased and the expression of LIMK1 significantly increased in OSCC tissues and cell lines. There was a close association between these changes. Knockdown of LIMK1 significantly inhibited the proliferation and EMT of OSCC cells. The bioinformatics analysis predicted that LIMK1 is a potential target gene of miR-106a and the luciferase reporter assay confirmed that miR-106a could directly target LIMK1. Introduction of miR-106a to OSCC cells had similar effects to LIMK1 silencing. Overexpression of LIMK1 in OSCC cells partially reversed the inhibitory effects of the miR-106a mimic.
Conclusion: MiR-106a inhibited the cell proliferation and EMT of OSCC cells by directly decreasing LIMK1 expression.

Yu HX, Wang XL, Zhang LN, et al.
MicroRNA-384 inhibits the progression of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma through blockade of the LIMK1/cofilin signaling pathway by binding to LIMK1.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2019; 109:751-761 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) represents an aggressive malignancy often accompanied with a poor prognosis. Owing to the poor mortality and morbidity rates associated with this malignancy, a deeper understanding of the finer molecular changes that occur in ESCC is required in order to identify novel potential targets for early detection and therapy. At present the mechanism by which ESCC functions on a molecular level is not fully understood. Hence, the aim of the present study was to ascertain as to whether microRNA-384 (miR-384) influences the progression of ESCC.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Bioinformatics analysis was initially conducted to identify ESCC-related differentially expressed genes and predict regulatory miRs. After the target relationship between miR-384 and LIMK1 had been verified, the expression of miR-384 and LIMK1 in the EC9706 cell line was altered in an attempt to investigate the regulatory roles of miR-384 in the expression of the LIMK1/cofilin signaling pathway-related genes, cell proliferation, invasion, cell cycle distribution and apoptosis, in addition to lymph node metastasis (LNM) and tumor growth in nude mice.
RESULTS: Microarray-based gene expression profiling indicated that miR-384 affected the progression of ESCC through the LIMK1-mediated LIMK1/cofilin signaling pathway. Furthermore, miR-384 and Bax were observed to be poorly expressed, while LIMK1, cofilin and Bcl-2 were highly expressed in ESCC. The obtained evidences indicating that miR-384 targeted and negatively regulated LIMK1. Upregulation of miR-384 or LIMK1 inhibition was determined to block the LIMK1/cofilin signaling pathway, repress cell proliferation, invasion, cell cycle, LNM and tumor growth, while promote cell apoptosis in ESCC.
CONCLUSION: Collectively, based on the key findings of the study, miR-384 could sequester LIMK1, which acts to suppress activation of the LIMK1/cofilin signaling pathway, thus ultimately inhibiting the development and progression of ESCC.

Lu H, Chen J, Luo Y, et al.
Curcolonol suppresses the motility of breast cancer cells by inhibiting LIM kinase 1 to downregulate cofilin 1 phosphorylation.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(6):2695-2704 [PubMed] Related Publications
Curcolonol (CCL) is a furan type sesquiterpene isolated from several medical herbs. Based on previous results of anti-migratory activity screening, in this study, we investigated the effects of CCL on cancer cell motility. By in vitro migration assay, we found that CCL significantly inhibited the vertical and horizontal migration of breast cancer cells induced by transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1. In addition, CCL also exerted inhibitory effects on F-actin polymerization in breast cancer cells when the cells were dyed with phalloidin. Given the close association between F-actin and ADF/cofilin, the effects of CCL on the expression and phosphorylation of cofilin 1 were explored. It was observed that there were minimal changes in the expression of cofilin 1; however, the phosphorylation of cofilin 1 was significantly inhibited by CCL in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, CCL significantly inhibited the activity of LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1), although almost no effects were observed on LIMK1 expression and phosphorylation. However, the inhibitory effects of CCL on LIMK1 activity were antagonized and enhanced by the overexpression and knockdown of LIMK1, respectively. Based on the current data, it is thus suggested that the suppressive effects of CCL on breast cancer cell motility are due to its potential to reduce the phosphorylation of cofilin 1, which may be associated with the inhibition of the catalytic activity of LIMK1.

Fu J, Yu J, Chen J, et al.
In vitro inhibitory properties of sesquiterpenes from Chloranthus serratus on cell motility via down-regulation of LIMK1 activation in human breast cancer.
Phytomedicine. 2018; 49:23-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: LIM kinase 1 plays an important role in tumor cell invasion and metastasis by regulating architecture of actin cytoskeleton, and inhibiting activity of this kinase may be a promising strategy to prevent cancer cells from distant spread. In our previous studies, we found several extracts from the medical herbs in genus Chloranthus to exhibit anti-metastatic effects.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to find LIMK1 inhibitors from Chloranthus serratus, a medical herb from genus Chloranthus and to evaluate their effects on cell motility.
METHODS: Three sesquiterpenes, chloranthalactone E (compound 1), serralactone A (compound 2, SERA is used in the further testing), and 8β, 9α-dihydroxylindan-4(5), 7(11)-dien-8α, 12-olide (compound 3) were isolated from Chloranthus serratus, and the anti-LIMK1 activities of these compounds were investigated by kinase-Glo
RESULTS: we reported here that among the three sesquiterpenes, SERA showed significantly inhibition on LIMK1 activity, and the IC
CONCLUSION: collectively, it was concluded that SERA exhibited significant inhibitory effects on breast cancer cells migration, and these effects of this sesquiterpene are due to its properties reducing the activation of LIM kinase 1.

Wang W, Yang C, Nie H, et al.
LIMK2 acts as an oncogene in bladder cancer and its functional SNP in the microRNA-135a binding site affects bladder cancer risk.
Int J Cancer. 2019; 144(6):1345-1355 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
LIM kinases modulate multiple aspects of cancer development, including cell proliferation and survival. As the mechanisms of LIMK-associated tumorigenesis are still unclear, we analyzed the tumorigenic functions of LIM kinase 2 (LIMK2) in human bladder cancer (BC) and explored whether the newly identified LIMK2 3´-UTR SNP rs2073859 (G-to-A allele) is correlated with clinical features. Expression levels of LIMK2 in 38 human BC tissues and eight cell lines were examined using quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. LIMK2 was overexpressed in most BC tissues (27/38, 71%) and BC-derived cell lines (6/8), and was more frequently overexpessed in high-grade than low-grade BC (80% vs. 47%). The effects of LIMK2 on BC cell proliferation, survival and migration, were studied by overexpression and RNA interference approaches in vitro and in vivo. LIMK2 overexpression promoted proliferation, migration and invasion of BC cells, while LIMK2 depletion inhibited cell invasion and viability and induced growth arrest in vitro and in vivo. PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) was used to genotype LIMK2 SNP rs2073859 and multivariate logistic regression applied to assess the relationship between allele frequency and clinical features in 139 BC patients. Functional analyses localized SNP rs2073859 within the microRNA-135a seed-binding region and revealed significantly lower LIMK2 G allele expression. The frequency of A genotypes (AG + AA) was higher in the BC group than normal controls and correlated with risks of high-grade and high-stage BC. In conclusion, LIMK2 may function as an oncogene in human BC, while allele-specific regulation by microRNA-135a may influence disease risk.

Schulze M, Hutterer M, Sabo A, et al.
Chronophin regulates active vitamin B6 levels and transcriptomic features of glioblastoma cell lines cultured under non-adherent, serum-free conditions.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):524 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The phosphatase chronophin (CIN/PDXP) has been shown to be an important regulator of glioma cell migration and invasion. It has two known substrates: p-Ser3-cofilin, the phosphorylated form of the actin binding protein cofilin, and pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, the active form of vitamin B6. Phosphoregulation of cofilin, among other functions, plays an important role in cell migration, whereas active vitamin B6 is a cofactor for more than one hundred enzymatic reactions. The role of CIN has yet only been examined in glioblastoma cell line models derived under serum culture conditions.
RESULTS: We found that CIN is highly expressed in cells cultured under non-adherent, serum-free conditions that are thought to better mimic the in vivo situation. Furthermore, the substrates of CIN, p-Ser3-cofilin and active vitamin B6, were significantly reduced as compared to cell lines cultured in serum-containing medium. To further examine its molecular role we stably knocked down the CIN protein with two different shRNA hairpins in the glioblastoma cell lines NCH421k and NCH644. Both cell lines did not show any significant alterations in proliferation but expression of differentiation markers (such as GFAP or TUBB3) was increased in the knockdown cell lines. In addition, colony formation was significantly impaired in NCH644. Of note, in both cell lines CIN knockdown increased active vitamin B6 levels with vitamin B6 being known to be important for S-adenosylmethionine biosynthesis. Nevertheless, global histone and DNA methylation remained unaltered as was chemoresistance towards temozolomide. To further elucidate the role of phosphocofilin in glioblastoma cells we applied inhibitors for ROCK1/2 and LIMK1/2 to our model. LIMK- and ROCK-inhibitor treatment alone was not toxic for glioblastoma cells. However, it had profound, but antagonistic effects in NCH421k and NCH644 under chemotherapy.
CONCLUSION: In non-adherent glioblastoma cell lines cultured in serum-free medium, chronophin knockdown induces phenotypic changes, e.g. in colony formation and transcription, but these are highly dependent on the cellular background. The same is true for phenotypes observed after treatment with inhibitors for kinases regulating cofilin phosphorylation (ROCKs and LIMKs). Targeting the cofilin phosphorylation pathway might therefore not be a straightforward therapeutic option in glioblastoma.

Zampini M, Tregnago C, Bisio V, et al.
Epigenetic heterogeneity affects the risk of relapse in children with t(8;21)RUNX1-RUNX1T1-rearranged AML.
Leukemia. 2018; 32(5):1124-1134 [PubMed] Related Publications
The somatic translocation t(8;21)(q22;q22)/RUNX1-RUNX1T1 is one of the most frequent rearrangements found in children with standard-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Despite the favorable prognostic role of this aberration, we recently observed a higher than expected frequency of relapse. Here, we employed an integrated high-throughput approach aimed at identifying new biological features predicting relapse among 34 t(8;21)-rearranged patients. We found that the DNA methylation status of patients who suffered from relapse was peculiarly different from that of children maintaining complete remission. The epigenetic signature, made up of 337 differentially methylated regions, was then integrated with gene and protein expression profiles, leading to a network, where cell-to-cell adhesion and cell-motility pathways were found to be aberrantly activated in relapsed patients. We identified most of these factors as RUNX1-RUNX1T1 targets, with Ras Homolog Family Member (RHOB) overexpression being the core of this network. We documented how RHOB re-organized the actin cytoskeleton through its downstream ROCK-LIMK-COFILIN axis: this increases blast adhesion by stress fiber formation, and reduces mitochondrial apoptotic cell death after chemotherapy treatment. Altogether, our data show an epigenetic heterogeneity within t(8;21)-rearranged AML patients at diagnosis able to influence the program of the chimeric transcript, promoting blast re-emergence and progression to relapse.

Maziveyi M, Dong S, Baranwal S, Alahari SK
Nischarin regulates focal adhesion and Invadopodia formation in breast cancer cells.
Mol Cancer. 2018; 17(1):21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: During metastasis, tumor cells move through the tracks of extracellular matrix (ECM). Focal adhesions (FAs) are the protein complexes that link the cell cytoskeleton to the ECM and their presence is necessary for cell attachment. The tumor suppressor Nischarin interacts with a number of signaling proteins such as Integrin α5, PAK1, LIMK1, LKB1, and Rac1 to prevent cancer cell migration. Although previous findings have shown that Nischarin exerts this migratory inhibition by interacting with other proteins, the effects of these interactions on the entire FA machinery are unknown.
METHODS: RT-PCR, Western Blotting, invadopodia assays, and immunofluorescence were used to examine FA gene expression and determine whether Nischarin affects cell attachment, as well as the proteins that regulate it.
RESULTS: Our data show that Nischarin prevents cell migration and invasion by altering the expression of key focal adhesion proteins. Furthermore, we have found that Nischarin-expressing cells have reduced ability to attach the ECM, which in turn leads to a decrease in invadopodia-mediated matrix degradation.
CONCLUSIONS: These experiments demonstrate an important role of Nischarin in regulating cell attachment, which adds to our understanding of the early events of the metastatic process in breast cancer.

Hou C, Zhuang Z, Deng X, et al.
Knockdown of Trio by CRISPR/Cas9 suppresses migration and invasion of cervical cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(2):795-801 [PubMed] Related Publications
Triple functional domain protein (Trio) is an evolutionarily conserved protein with guanine nucleotide exchange factors that regulate different physiological processes in some types of cancer. However, the expression and function of Trio in cervical cancer are still unknown. The purpose of this study was to detect the expression of Trio in cervical cancer tissues and to evaluate its clinical value. Furthermore, the effects of the Trio on the migration and invasion of cervical cancer cells and its mechanism were investigated in vitro. The results of the present study revealed that Trio expression levels were significantly higher in most of the clinical cervical cancer samples than in adjacent tissues. The clinicopathological significance of Trio expression was also analyzed, and the results revealed that high expression levels in cervical cancer were correlated with lymph node metastasis (P=0.005). The CRISPR/Cas9 system was used to knockdown the endogenous Trio. The inhibition of Trio significantly decreased the migration and invasion abilities of cervical cancer cells. Meanwhile, levels of RhoA/ROCK signaling factors (RhoA, Rock, and p-LIMK), which contributed to cell migration and invasion, were decreased along with the inhibition of Trio. Therefore, Trio may regulate the migration and invasion of cervical cancer through the RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway.

Li D, Song H, Wu T, et al.
MiR-519d-3p suppresses breast cancer cell growth and motility via targeting LIM domain kinase 1.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2018; 444(1-2):169-178 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in women, and its estrogen receptor (ER)-negative subtype (ENBC) and triple-negative subtype (TNBC) have unfavorable prognosis in comparison with ER-positive subtype. MiRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that bind to the 3'-UTR region of targeting mRNAs to regulate gene expression. Mir-519d-3p was found to be associated with breast cancer for its potential role in proliferation and metastasis. To explore its potential role and mechanism of miR-519d-3p in breast carcinogenesis, we determined whether miR-519d-3p regulates breast cancer cell proliferation and motility by performing wound-healing assays and migration-invasion assays. We found that miR-519d-3p significantly inhibits proliferation and motility of ENBC and TNBC cells. Overexpression of miR-519d-3p arrested breast cancer cells in the G0/G1 phase and reduced the expression of CDK4, 6/Cyclin D1, and CDK2/Cyclin E1. It was reported that miR-519d-3p or miR-519d-3p expression was associated with cancer metastasis and clinical staging. Since LIM domain kinase 1 (LIMK1) was highly expressed in breast cancer and a major regulator of breast cancer growth and metastasis, we further demonstrated that LIMK1 is a potential target of miR-519d-3p by dual-luciferase report assay. Mir-519d-3p decreases LIMK1 expression at mRNA and protein levels, and the protein level and phosphorylation of cofilin 1 (CFL1), one of the key downstream targets of LIMK1. Our findings suggest that miR-519d-3p regulates the LIMK1/CFL1 pathway in breast cancer and this new venue could be targeted for future breast cancer therapy.

Shi C, Ren L, Sun C, et al.
miR-29a/b/c function as invasion suppressors for gliomas by targeting CDC42 and predict the prognosis of patients.
Br J Cancer. 2017; 117(7):1036-1047 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The lethality and poor outcome of high-grade gliomas result from the tumour relentless invasion. miR-29a/b/c downexpressions contribute to several human tumourigenesis. However, their relevance to prognosis and invasion in gliomas remains unclear.
METHODS: Relationships of miR-29a/b/c and CDC42 expressions to grade and survival-time in 147 human gliomas were analysed by in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry. Dual-luciferase reporter assay was used to identify CDC42 as a target of miR-29a/b/c. Underlining mechanisms by which miR-29a/b/c inhibited glioma cell migration and invasion were studied by in vitro and in vivo assays.
RESULTS: miR-29a/b/c expressions were inversely correlated with glioma grades, but positively correlated with patients' survival. Two distinct subgroups of grade I-IV glioma patients with different prognoses were identified according to miR-29a/b/c expressions. miR-29a/b/c overexpressions suppressed glioma cell migration and invasion through targeting CDC42 and subsequently decreasing phosphorylated PAK1/2/3, LIMK1/2 and cofilin, the pivotal downstream effectors of CDC42. Moreover, CDC42 expression was positively correlated with glioma grades, but inversely correlated with miR-29a/b/c expressions and patients' survival. In glioblastoma cell lines, CDC42-knockdown could mimic the anti-tumour effects of miR-29a/b/c.
CONCLUSIONS: miR-29a/b/c are important tumour suppressors and novel prognostic biomarkers of gliomas, and miR-29a/b/c and CDC42 are potential therapeutic candidates for malignant gliomas.

Liao Q, Li R, Zhou R, et al.
LIM kinase 1 interacts with myosin-9 and alpha-actinin-4 and promotes colorectal cancer progression.
Br J Cancer. 2017; 117(4):563-571 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1) is a key regulator of the cytoskeletal organisation involved in cell proliferation and migration. Even though LIMK1 is frequently dysregulated in epithelial cancers, the role and mechanisms of LIMK1 in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains unclear.
METHODS: Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to examine the expression and clinical significance of LIMK1 in CRC samples. Loss- and gain-of-function assay was performed to investigate the effects of aberrant expression on cellular biological behaviour of CRC cells in vitro and in vivo. Immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation was used to screen LIMK1-related signalling pathways and downstream factors.
RESULTS: In this study, our results showed that LIMK1 was upregulated in CRC tissues and localised in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus of CRC cells. Overexpression of LIMK1 in cytoplasmic and nuclear subcellular compartments was closely related to tumour metastasis and poor prognosis of CRC patients. Enhanced expression of cytoplasmic and nuclear LIMK1 significantly increased cell proliferation and migration by driving epithelial-mesenchymal transition and activating the PI3K/Akt signal pathway in vitro as well as promoting growth and metastasis of CRC xenografts, whereas opposite effects were achieved in LIMK1-silenced cells. Furthermore, we identified two tumour metastasis-associated proteins, MYH9 and ACTN4, as direct targets of LIMK1, which were required for a LIMK1-mediated aggressive phenotype.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that LIMK1 plays a critical role in promoting CRC progression at subcellular level. Our findings provide new insights into the metastasis of CRC and advocate for the development of clinical intervention strategies against advanced CRC.

Su J, Zhou Y, Pan Z, et al.
Downregulation of LIMK1-ADF/cofilin by DADS inhibits the migration and invasion of colon cancer.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7:45624 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
This study aimed to explore whether the downregulation of LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1)-actin depolymerization factor (ADF, also known as destrin)/cofilin by diallyl disulfide (DADS) inhibited the migration and invasion of colon cancer. Previous studies have shown that silencing LIMK1 could significantly enhance the inhibitory effect of DADS on colon cancer cell migration and invasion, suggesting that LIMK1 was a target molecule of DADS, which needed further confirmation. This study reported that LIMK1 and destrin were highly expressed in colon cancer and associated with poor prognosis of patients with colon cancer. Also, the expression of LIMK1 was positively correlated with the expression of destrin. The overexpression of LIMK1 significantly promoted colon cancer cell migration and invasion. DADS obviously inhibited migration and invasion by suppressing the phosphorylation of ADF/cofilin via downregulation of LIMK1 in colon cancer cells. Furthermore, DADS-induced suppression of cell proliferation was enhanced and antagonized by the knockdown and overexpression of LIMK1 in vitro and in vivo, respectively. Similar results were observed for DADS-induced changes in the expression of vimentin, CD34, Ki-67, and E-cadherin in xenografted tumors. These results indicated that LIMK1 was a potential target molecule for the inhibitory effect of DADS on colon cancer cell migration and invasion.

Ohishi T, Yoshida H, Katori M, et al.
Tankyrase-Binding Protein TNKS1BP1 Regulates Actin Cytoskeleton Rearrangement and Cancer Cell Invasion.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(9):2328-2338 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tankyrase, a PARP that promotes telomere elongation and Wnt/β-catenin signaling, has various binding partners, suggesting that it has as-yet unidentified functions. Here, we report that the tankyrase-binding protein TNKS1BP1 regulates actin cytoskeleton and cancer cell invasion, which is closely associated with cancer progression. TNKS1BP1 colocalized with actin filaments and negatively regulated cell invasion. In TNKS1BP1-depleted cells, actin filament dynamics, focal adhesion, and lamellipodia ruffling were increased with activation of the ROCK/LIMK/cofilin pathway. TNKS1BP1 bound the actin-capping protein CapZA2. TNKS1BP1 depletion dissociated CapZA2 from the cytoskeleton, leading to cofilin phosphorylation and enhanced cell invasion. Tankyrase overexpression increased cofilin phosphorylation, dissociated CapZA2 from cytoskeleton, and enhanced cell invasion in a PARP activity-dependent manner. In clinical samples of pancreatic cancer, TNKS1BP1 expression was reduced in invasive regions. We propose that the tankyrase-TNKS1BP1 axis constitutes a posttranslational modulator of cell invasion whose aberration promotes cancer malignancy.

Lee HJ, Diaz MF, Price KM, et al.
Fluid shear stress activates YAP1 to promote cancer cell motility.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8:14122 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mechanical stress is pervasive in egress routes of malignancy, yet the intrinsic effects of force on tumour cells remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that frictional force characteristic of flow in the lymphatics stimulates YAP1 to drive cancer cell migration; whereas intensities of fluid wall shear stress (WSS) typical of venous or arterial flow inhibit taxis. YAP1, but not TAZ, is strictly required for WSS-enhanced cell movement, as blockade of YAP1, TEAD1-4 or the YAP1-TEAD interaction reduces cellular velocity to levels observed without flow. Silencing of TEAD phenocopies loss of YAP1, implicating transcriptional transactivation function in mediating force-enhanced cell migration. WSS dictates expression of a network of YAP1 effectors with executive roles in invasion, chemotaxis and adhesion downstream of the ROCK-LIMK-cofilin signalling axis. Altogether, these data implicate YAP1 as a fluid mechanosensor that functions to regulate genes that promote metastasis.

Liu Y, Wang Z, Huang D, et al.
LMO2 promotes tumor cell invasion and metastasis in basal-type breast cancer by altering actin cytoskeleton remodeling.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(6):9513-9524 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
LMO2 is traditionally recognized as a pivotal transcriptional regulator during embryonic hematopoiesis and angionenesis, and its ectopic expression in T lymphocyte progenitors is closely correlated to the onset of acute T lymphocytic leukemia. However, recently studies revealed complicated expression features and dual functions of LMO2 on tumor behaviors in a variety of cancer types, including breast cancers. Basal-type breast cancer is one of the breast cancer subtypes and a prognostically unfavorable subtype among all breast cancers. Herein we found that in basal-type breast cancer specifically, high LMO2 expression was positively correlated with lymph node metastases in patients, promoted tumor cell migration and invasion and increased distant metastasis in SCID mice. Moreover, the novel function of LMO2 was achieved by its predominantly cytoplasmic location and interaction with cofilin1, which is a critical regulator in actin cytoskeleton dynamics. These findings suggest a subtype-dependent role of LMO2 in breast cancers and the potential of LMO2 as a subtype-specific biomarker for clinical practice.

Tan Y, Hu H, Tan W, et al.
MicroRNA-138 inhibits migration and invasion of non-small cell lung cancer cells by targeting LIMK1.
Mol Med Rep. 2016; 14(5):4422-4428 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNA (miR)-138 has previously been demonstrated to have a suppressive role in numerous types of human cancer, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). LIM domain kinase 1 (LIMK1) is a serine/threonine kinase that regulates actin polymerization via phosphorylation and inactivation of cofilin. Previous studies have reported that LIMK1 is associated with NSCLC; however, the underlying regulatory mechanism of LIMK1, and the association between LIMK1 and miR‑138 in NSCLC cells, remains largely unknown. The present study aimed to reveal the regulatory roles of miR‑138 and LIMK1 in NSCLC cell migration and invasion. Reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis were used to examine the mRNA and protein expression levels. Transwell and wound healing assays were conducted to determine cell invasion and migration. A luciferase reporter assay was used to determine the target association between miR‑138 and LIMK1. The present study demonstrated that miR‑138 was markedly downregulated in NSCLC tissues and cell lines, whereas the expression levels of LIMK1 were significantly upregulated. LIMK1 was further identified as a direct target of miR‑138 in NSCLC H460 cells. Furthermore, overexpression of miR‑138 significantly inhibited the protein expression of LIMK1, whereas knockdown of miR‑138 upregulated the protein expression of LIMK1 in H460 cells. In addition, overexpression of miR‑138 significantly inhibited the migration and invasion of NSCLC cells; however, overexpression of LIMK1 significantly promoted NSCLC cell migration and invasion. An investigation into the underlying molecular mechanism revealed that overexpression of miR‑138 significantly decreased cofilin signaling activity, whereas knockdown of miR‑138 notably enhanced cofilin signaling activity. In conclusion, the present study suggests that miR‑138 may inhibit the migration and invasion of NSCLC cells by targeting the LIMK1/cofilin signaling pathway. Therefore, miR-138/LIMK1/cofilin may be considered a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of NSCLC.

Cipollini M, Landi S, Gemignani F
Bonafide Targets of Deregulated microRNAs in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer as Tool to Identify Novel Therapeutic Targets: A Review.
Curr Pharm Des. 2017; 23(1):55-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is an aggressive neoplasm with a poor survival and novel therapies are urgently needed. The study of deregulated micro- RNAs (dereg-miRs) could constitute a strategy helping to detect specific genes playing a relevant role in the disease. Thus, the oncoproteins encoded by these genes could be exploited as novel therapeutic targets to be inhibited by small molecules, aptamers, or monoclonal antibodies.
METHODS: The present review is focused on candidate genes having convincing biological evidences to be both bona fide targets for dereg-miRs and playing a role in NSCLC progression. These genes were evaluated according to the molecular pathway they belong. Moreover, in the attempt to provide an even broader list of candidate therapeutic targets for NSCLC, the full list of genes was analyzed using the online tool Interactome DB.
RESULTS: Among the identified targets, some of them belong to p53 or MAP kinase signaling pathways, and others include caspases, MCL1, and BCL2L2 (playing a role in apoptosis), ZEB1, ZEB2, and USP25 (epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition), EZH2, SOX9, and HOXA5 (differentiation), Paxillin, LIMK1 and MTDH (cytoskeleton remodeling), and HDGF (angiogenesis). In addition, other targets, such as TIMP-2, PIM-1, and components of the IGF-signaling pathways were suggested following the interactome analysis.
CONCLUSION: Studies on dereg-miRs helped to identify a set of genes whose encoded proteins could constitute candidates for future therapeutic approaches.

Ottman R, Levy J, Grizzle WE, Chakrabarti R
The other face of miR-17-92a cluster, exhibiting tumor suppressor effects in prostate cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(45):73739-73753 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
miR-17-92a cluster miRNAs are transcribed from a polycistronic transcription unit C13orf25 that generates six mature miRNAs, miR-17, miR-18a, miR-19a, miR-19b, miR-20a and miR-92a that are overexpressed in lung and colon cancers. Here we show that the expression of miR-17-92a miRNAs are reduced in cancerous prostate tissues compared to uninvolved areas and also in aggressive prostate cancer cells. Restoration of expression of all members of miR-17-92a cluster showed, decreased expression of cell cycle regulatory proteins cyclin D1 and SSH1; and LIMK1 and FGD4 of RhoGTPase signaling pathway. Expression of miR-17-92a miRNAs caused decreased cell proliferation, reduced activation of AKT and MAP kinases, delayed tumorigenicity and reduced tumor growth in animals. Expression of miR-17-92a miRNAs inhibited EMT via reduced cell migration and expression of mesenchymal markers while elevating expression and surface localization of the epithelial marker E-Cadherin. Expression of miR-17-92a miRNAs improved sensitivity of androgen dependent LNCaP 104-S prostate cancer cells to anti-androgen drug Casodex, AKT inhibitor MK-2206 2HCl, and docetaxel. The androgen refractory PC-3 cells also showed increased sensitivity to docetaxel, MK-2206 2HCl and Aurora kinase inhibitor VX680 upon ectopic expression of miR-17-92a cluster miRNAs. Our data demonstrate a tumor suppressor effect of miR-17-92a cluster miRNAs in prostate cancer cells and restoration of expression of these miRNAs has a therapeutic benefit for both androgen-dependent and -independent prostate cancer cells.

Zhang J, Zhang HY, Wang J, et al.
GL-1196 Suppresses the Proliferation and Invasion of Gastric Cancer Cells via Targeting PAK4 and Inhibiting PAK4-Mediated Signaling Pathways.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(4):470 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer, which is the most common malignant gastrointestinal tumor, has jumped to the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. It is of great importance to identify novel and potent drugs for gastric cancer treatment. P21-activated kinase 4 (PAK4) has emerged as an attractive target for the development of anticancer drugs in consideration of its vital functions in tumorigenesis and progression. In this paper, we reported that GL-1196, as a small molecular compound, effectively suppressed the proliferation of human gastric cancer cells through downregulation of PAK4/c-Src/EGFR/cyclinD1 pathway and CDK4/6 expression. Moreover, GL-1196 prominently inhibited the invasion of human gastric cancer cells in parallel with blockage of the PAK4/LIMK1/cofilin pathway. Interestingly, GL-1196 also inhibited the formation of filopodia and induced cell elongation in SGC7901 and BGC823 cells. Taken together, these results provided novel insights into the potential therapeutic strategy for gastric cancer.

Guo B, Li X, Song S, et al.
(-)-β-hydrastine suppresses the proliferation and invasion of human lung adenocarcinoma cells by inhibiting PAK4 kinase activity.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(4):2246-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
(-)-β-hydrastine is one of the main active components of the medicinal plant, Hydrastis canadensis, which is used in many dietary supplements intended to enhance the immune system. However, whether (-)-β-hydrastine affects the tumor signaling pathway remains unexplored. In the present study, we found that (-)-β-hydrastine inhibited the kinase activity of p21-activated kinase 4 (PAK4), which is involved in the regulation of cytoskeletal reorganization, cell proliferation, gene transcription, oncogenic transformation and cell invasion. In the present study, (-)-β-hydrastine suppressed lung adenocarcinoma cell proliferation by inhibiting expression of cyclin D1/D3 and CDK2/4/6, leading to cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase, in a PAK4 kinase-dependent manner. Moreover, inhibition of PAK4 kinase activity by (-)-β-hydrastine also promoted the early apoptosis of lung adenocarcinoma cells through the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. In addition, (-)-β-hydrastine significantly suppressed the migration and invasion of human lung adenocarcinoma cells in conjunction with concomitant blockage of the PAK4/LIMK1/cofilin, PAK4/SCG10 and PAK4/MMP2 pathways. All of these data indicate that (-)-β-hydrastine, as a novel PAK4 inhibitor, suppresses the proliferation and invasion of lung adenocarcinoma cells. Taken together, these results provide novel insight into the development of a PAK4 kinase inhibitor and a potential therapeutic strategy for lung cancer.

Ngalame NN, Makia NL, Waalkes MP, Tokar EJ
Mitigation of arsenic-induced acquired cancer phenotype in prostate cancer stem cells by miR-143 restoration.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2016; 312:11-18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Inorganic arsenic, an environmental contaminant and a human carcinogen is associated with prostate cancer. Emerging evidence suggests that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the driving force of carcinogenesis. Chronic arsenic exposure malignantly transforms the human normal prostate stem/progenitor cell (SC) line, WPE-stem to arsenic-cancer SCs (As-CSCs), through unknown mechanisms. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level. In prior work, miR-143 was markedly downregulated in As-CSCs, suggesting a role in arsenic-induced malignant transformation. In the present study, we investigated whether loss of miR-143 expression is important in arsenic-induced transformation of prostate SCs. Restoration of miR-143 in As-CSCs was achieved by lentivirus-mediated miR-143 overexpression. Cells were assessed bi-weekly for up to 30weeks to examine mitigation of cancer phenotype. Secreted matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity was increased by arsenic-induced malignant transformation, but miR-143 restoration decreased secreted MMP-2 and MMP-9 enzyme activities compared with scramble controls. Increased cell proliferation and apoptotic resistance, two hallmarks of cancer, were decreased upon miR-143 restoration. Increased apoptosis was associated with decreased BCL2 and BCL-XL expression. miR-143 restoration dysregulated the expression of SC/CSC self-renewal genes including NOTCH-1, BMI-1, OCT4 and ABCG2. The anticancer effects of miR-143 overexpression appeared to be mediated by targeting and inhibiting LIMK1 protein, and the phosphorylation of cofilin, a LIMK1 substrate. These findings clearly show that miR-143 restoration mitigated multiple cancer characteristics in the As-CSCs, suggesting a potential role in arsenic-induced transformation of prostate SCs. Thus, miR-143 is a potential biomarker and therapeutic target for arsenic-induced prostate cancer.

Sigloch FC, Burk UC, Biniossek ML, et al.
miR-200c dampens cancer cell migration via regulation of protein kinase A subunits.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(27):23874-89 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Expression of miR-200c is a molecular switch to determine cellular fate towards a mesenchymal or epithelial phenotype. miR-200c suppresses the early steps of tumor progression by preventing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and intravasation of tumor cells. Unraveling the underlying molecular mechanisms might pinpoint to novel therapeutic options. To better understand these mechanisms it is crucial to identify targets of miR-200c. Here, we employ a combination of quantitative proteomic and bioinformatic strategies to identify novel miR-200c targets. We identify and confirm two subunits of the central cellular kinase protein kinase A (PKA), namely PRKAR1A and PRKACB, to be directly regulated by miR-200c. Notably, siRNA-mediated downregulation of both proteins phenocopies the migratory behavior of breast cancer cells after miR-200c overexpression. Patient data from publicly accessible databases supports a miR-200c-PKA axis. Thus, our study identifies the PKA heteroprotein as an important mediator of miR-200c induced repression of migration in breast cancer cells. By bioinformatics, we define a miRNA target cluster consisting of PRKAR1A, PRKAR2B, PRKACB, and COF2, which is targeted by a group of 14 miRNAs.

Li D, Zhang Y, Li Z, et al.
Activated Pak4 expression correlates with poor prognosis in human gastric cancer patients.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(12):9431-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite considerable advances in gastrectomy and chemotherapy, the prognosis of gastric cancer (GC) has not noticeably improved due to lymph node or distant metastases. P21-activated serine/threonine kinase 4 (Pak4) plays an important role in cell morphology and cytoskeletal reorganization-both prerequisite steps for cell migration. However, it is still unclear if activated Pak4 (p-Pak4) is related to prognosis in GC patients. In our study, the level of p-Pak4 in 95 GC tissue specimens was examined by immunohistochemistry (IHC). We observed significant correlation between the level of p-Pak4 and grosstype (advanced stage GC vs. early stage GC, P = 0.04). Moreover, GC patients with higher p-Pak4 levels had a poorer prognosis than those with lower p-Pak4 levels (17 vs. 38 months, P = 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that high phosphorylation level of Pak4, advanced stage GC, and lymph node metastasis were independent prognostic factors for GC patients (p-Pak4, P = 0.026; advanced stage GC, P = 0.030; lymph node metastasis, P = 0.016). In addition, in vitro assays indicated that knockdown of Pak4 accompanied with decreased p-Pak4, inhibited cell migration via downregulation of the traditional downstream signaling pathways of Pak4, LIMK1, and cofilin. In conclusion, this report reveals that high level of p-Pak4 correlates with poor prognosis in GC, thereby suggesting that p-Pak4 might be a potential prognostic marker for GC.

Lin L, Jiang H, Huang M, et al.
Depletion of histone deacetylase 1 inhibits metastatic abilities of gastric cancer cells by regulating the miR-34a/CD44 pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(2):663-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overexpression of histone deacetylases (HDACs) is associated with higher metastatic rates and a poor prognosis in gastric cancer. However, the underlying mechanisms involved remain unclear. The present study aimed to investigate the molecular pathways that are involved in HDAC1-mediated metastatic activities in gastric cancer cells. First we used a microRNA (miRNA or miR) microarray to screen potential miRNAs whose expression can be altered by HDAC1 depletion. Of these miRNAs, miR-34a is important as it is often inactivated in cancer cells and acts as a tumor suppressor for various types of cancer. The reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT‑qPCR) results confirmed that miR-34a was upregulated by HDAC1 knockdown. Cells depleted of HDAC1 had lower abilities to migrate, invade and adhere, which were restored by a miR-34a antagomiR. Depletion of HDAC1 also resulted in impaired microfilaments and microtubules, while co-transfection of the miR-34a antagomiR attenuated these changes in the cellular cytoskeleton. The HDAC1/miR-34a axis regulated the expression and activation of CD44 and its downstream factors including Bcl-2, Ras homolog family member A (RhoA), LIM domain kinase 1 (LIMK-1) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2. The latter three proteins were responsible for the organization of tubulin and actin cytoskeleton and the formation of cellular pseudopodia. In conclusion, results of the present study indicated that HDAC1 depletion inhibits the metastatic abilities of gastric cancer cells by regulating the miRNA-34a/CD44 pathway, which may be a potential target for the treatment of gastric cancer.

Cai S, Ye Z, Wang X, et al.
Overexpression of P21-activated kinase 4 is associated with poor prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer and promotes migration and invasion.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 34:48 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: P21-activated kinase 4 (PAK4), an effector of the Rho family protein Cdc42, is an important oncogene whose expression is increased in many human cancers and is generally positively correlated with advanced disease and decreased survival. However, little is known about the expression and biological function of PAK4 in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
METHODS: PAK4 expression in NSCLC tissues and adjacent non-tumor tissues were assessed by immunohistochemistry, real-time PCR, and western blotting. Prognostic value of PAK4 expression was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression. siRNA-mediated gene silencing and protein kinase assay was applied to demonstrate the role and the mechanism of PAK4 in lung cancer cell migration, invasion.
RESULTS: The results showed that PAK4 was overexpressed in NSCLC cell lines and human NSCLC tissues. PAK4 expression was detected both in the membranes and cytoplasm of NSCLC cancer cells in vivo. Moreover, increased expression of PAK4 was associated with metastasis, shorter overall survival, advanced stage of NSCLC. Furthermore, PAK4 expression was positively correlated with phosphorylation of LIMK1 expression levels. Knockdown of PAK4 in NSCLC cell lines led to reduce the phosphorylation of LIMK1, which resulted in decrease of the cell migration and invasion. In addition, PAK4 bound to LIMK1 directly and activated it via phosphorylation.
CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that PAK4 mediated LIMK1 phosphorylation regulates the migration and invasion in NSCLC. Therefore, PAK4 might be a significant prognostic marker and potential therapeutic molecular target in NSCLC.

Cai S, Chen R, Li X, et al.
Downregulation of microRNA-23a suppresses prostate cancer metastasis by targeting the PAK6-LIMK1 signaling pathway.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(6):3904-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Here we found that levels of miR-23a were decreased in prostate cancer cell lines and tumor tissues. These low levels were associated with poor patients' prognosis. MiR-23a inhibited migration and invasion of prostate cancer in vivo and in orthotopic prostate cancer mice model. MiR-23a decreased levels of p21-activated kinase 6 (PAK6). Expression of miR-23a inhibited phosphorylation of LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1) and cofilin, in turn suppressing formation of stress fibers and actin filaments, which was required for cell motility and invasion. PAK6 bound to LIMK1 and activated it via phosphorylation at Thr-508. Also, PAK6 and LIMK1 were colocalized in the cytoplasma. Thus, miR-23a regulated cytoskeleton by affecting LIMK1 and cofilin. In summary, we have identified the miR-23a-PAK6-LIMK1 pathway of prostate cancer metastasis. Potential therapeutic approach by targeting miR-23 is suggested.

You T, Gao W, Wei J, et al.
Overexpression of LIMK1 promotes tumor growth and metastasis in gastric cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2015; 69:96-101 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in Asia. Despite improvement of therapies, the outcome in patients remains extremely poor because of metastasis. In the present study, we found that LIMK1 is overexpressed in gastric cancer, and its expression level correlate with tumor size, lymph node metastasis and TNM stage. Knockdown of LIMK1 expression could inhibit cell proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro, as well as suppress the activation of FAK/paxillin pathway. Moreover, knockdown of LIMK1 expression retarded tumor growth and peritoneal ametastasis in vivo. This highlights that LIMK1 might be used as a potential target in the treatment of gastric cancer.

Bhardwaj A, Srivastava SK, Singh S, et al.
CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling counteracts docetaxel-induced microtubule stabilization via p21-activated kinase 4-dependent activation of LIM domain kinase 1.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(22):11490-500 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Emerging data highlight the significance of chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 12/chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCL12/CXCR4) signaling axis in the chemoresistance of several malignancies, including prostate cancer (PCa); however, underlying mechanisms remain largely elusive. Here, we demonstrate that CXCL12 treatment rescues the PCa cells from docetaxel (DTX)-induced toxicity by overriding its effect on cell cycle (G2/M phase arrest). We further demonstrate that the chemoprotective effect of CXCL12 is abolished upon pharmacological inhibition or RNA interference-mediated silencing of CXCR4. Moreover, microtubule stabilization caused by DTX is suppressed in CXCL12-stimulated PCa cells as revealed by immunofluorescence and immunoblot analyses. The effect of CXCL12 on microtubule stabilization is abrogated when PCa cells are pre-treated with a CXCR4 antagonist. In additional studies, we show that the chemoprotective action of CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling is mediated by p21-activated kinase 4 (PAK4)-dependent activation of Lim domain kinase 1 (LIMK1), and inhibition of either PAK4 or LIMK1 leads to re-sensitization of PCa cells to DTX-induced tubulin polymerization and cellular toxicity even in the presence of CXCL12. Altogether, our findings uncover a novel mechanism underlying CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling-induced PCa chemoresistance and suggest that targeting of this signaling axis or its downstream effector pathway could lead to therapeutic enhancement of DTX.

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