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Interaction with pyruvate kinase M2 destabilizes tristetraprolin by proteasome degradation and regulates cell proliferation in breast cancer.

Huang L., Yu Z., Zhang Z., Ma W., Song S., Huang G.

Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), which is predominantly expressed in most cancers, plays a key role in the Warburg effect. However, how PKM2 functions as a tumor supportive protein has not been fully elucidated. Here, we identified tristetraprolin (TTP), an AU-rich, element-binding protein that regulates mRNA stability, as a new binding partner of PKM2. Our data reveal that PKM2 suppresses TTP protein levels by promoting its phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and proteasome degradation, reducing its mRNA turnover ability and ultimately impairing cell viability in breast cancer cells. The p38/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway might be involved in PKM2-mediated TTP degradation, while treatment with the p38 inhibitor or siRNA abolished PKM2-induced TTP protein degradation. These findings demonstrate that PKM2-TTP association is crucial for regulating breast cancer cell proliferation and is therefore a potential therapeutic target in cancer.

Sci. Rep. 6:22449-22449(2016) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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