ABSTRACT: PIM (proviral integration site for moloney murine leukemia virus) kinase plays a key role as an oncogene in various cancers including myeloma, leukemia, prostate and breast cancers. The aberrant expression and/or activation of PIM kinases in various cancers follow an isoform-specific pattern. While PIM1 is predominantly expressed in hematological and solid tumors, PIM2 and PIM3 are largely expressed in leukemia and solid tumors, respectively. All of PIM kinases cause transcriptional activation of genes involved in cell survival and cell cycle progression in cancer. A variety of pro-tumorigenic signaling molecules, such as MYC, p21Cip1/Waf1/p27kip1, CDC25, Notch1 and BAD have been identified as the downstream targets of PIM kinases. So far, three kinds of adenosine triphosphate-competitive PIM inhibitors, SGI-1776, AZD1208, and LGH447 have been in clinical trials for the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia, prostate cancer, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma. This review sheds light on the signaling pathways involved in the PIM kinase regulation and current status of developing PIM kinase inhibitors as clinical success in combating human cancer.
Project description:The PIM1, PIM2, and PIM3 serine/threonine kinases play a role in the proliferation and survival of cancer cells. Mice lacking these three kinases were viable. Further, in human hematological malignancies, these proteins are overexpressed making them suitable targets. Several small molecule inhibitors against this enzyme were synthesized and tested. AZD1208, an orally available small-molecule drug, inhibits all three PIM kinases at a low nanomolar range. AZD1208 has been tested in clinical trials for patients with solid tumors and hematological malignancies, especially acute myelogenous leukemia. The present study evaluated the efficacy and biological actions of AZD1208 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells. CLL cells had higher levels of PIM2 protein and mRNAs than did normal lymphocytes from healthy donors. Treatment of CLL lymphocytes with AZD1208 resulted in modest cell death, whereas practically no cytotoxicity was observed in healthy lymphocytes. To determine the mechanism by which AZD1208 inhibits PIM kinase function, we evaluated PIM kinase pathway and downstream substrates. Because peripheral blood CLL cells are replicationally quiescent, we analyzed substrates involved in apoptosis, transcription, and translation but not cell cycle targets. AZD1208 inhibited protein translation by decreasing phosphorylation levels of 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1). AZD1208 induced autophagy in replicationally-quiescent CLL cells, which is consistent with protein translation inhibition. These data suggest that AZD1208 may elicit cytotoxicity in CLL cells through inhibiting translation and autophagy induction.
Project description:PIM kinases are a family of serine/threonine kinases involved in cell survival and proliferation. There is significant structural similarity between the three PIM kinases (PIM1, PIM2 and PIM3) and only few amino acid differences. Although, several studies have specifically monitored the role of PIM1 in tumorigenesis, much less is known about PIM2 and PIM3. Therefore, in this study we have used in vitro cell culture models and in vivo bone marrow infection/transplantation to assess the comparative signaling and oncogenic potential of each of the three PIM kinases. All three PIM kinases were able to protect FL5.12 cells from IL3 withdrawal induced death. Interestingly, the downstream signaling cascades were indistinguishable between the three kinases. Transplantation of murine bone marrow co-expressing MYC and PIM1, PIM2 or PIM3 caused rapid and uniformly lethal myeloid leukemia. De-induction of MYC 18 days following transplantation significantly increased the survival of mice, even with continual expression of PIM kinases. Alternatively, mice treated at the pre-leukemic stage with a PIM kinase inhibitor increased the lifespan of the mice, even with continual expression of the MYC transgene. These data demonstrate the role of PIM kinases in driving myeloid leukemia, and as candidate molecules for therapy against human malignancies.
Project description:Increasing incidence coupled with poor prognosis and treatments that are virtually unchanged over the past 20 years have made the need for the development of novel therapeutics for hepatoblastoma imperative. PIM kinases have been implicated as drivers of tumorigenesis in multiple cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma. We hypothesized that PIM kinases, specifically PIM3, would play a role in hepatoblastoma tumorigenesis and that PIM kinase inhibition would affect hepatoblastoma in vitro and in vivo. Parameters including cell survival, proliferation, motility, and apoptosis were assessed in human hepatoblastoma cells following PIM3 knockdown with siRNA or treatment with the PIM inhibitor AZD1208. An in vivo model of human hepatoblastoma was utilized to study the effects of PIM inhibition alone and in combination with cisplatin. PIM kinases were found to be present in the human hepatoblastoma cell line, HuH6, and in a human hepatoblastoma patient-derived xenograft, COA67. PIM3 knockdown or inhibition with AZD1208 decreased cell survival, attachment independent growth, and motility. Additionally, inhibition of tumor growth was observed in a hepatoblastoma xenograft model in mice treated with AZD1208. Combination therapy with AZD1208 and cisplatin resulted in a significant increase in animal survival when compared to either treatment alone. The current studies showed that PIM kinase inhibition decreased human hepatoblastoma tumorigenicity both in vitro and in vivo, implying that PIM inhibitors may be useful as a novel therapeutic for children with hepatoblastoma.
Project description:The identification as cooperating targets of Proviral Integrations of Moloney virus in murine lymphomas suggested early on that PIM serine/threonine kinases play an important role in cancer biology. Whereas elevated levels of PIM1 and PIM2 were mostly found in hematologic malignancies and prostate cancer, increased PIM3 expression was observed in different solid tumors. PIM kinases are constitutively active and their activity supports in vitro and in vivo tumor cell growth and survival through modification of an increasing number of common as well as isoform-specific substrates including several cell cycle regulators and apoptosis mediators. PIM1 but not PIM2 seems also to mediate homing and migration of normal and malignant hematopoietic cells by regulating chemokine receptor surface expression. Knockdown experiments by RNA interference or dominant-negative acting mutants suggested that PIM kinases are important for maintenance of a transformed phenotype and therefore potential therapeutic targets. Determination of the protein structure facilitated identification of an increasing number of potent small molecule PIM kinase inhibitors with in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity. Ongoing efforts aim to identify isoform-specific PIM inhibitors that would not only help to dissect the kinase function but hopefully also provide targeted therapeutics. Here, we summarize the current knowledge about the role of PIM serine/threonine kinases for the pathogenesis and therapy of hematologic malignancies and solid cancers, and we highlight structural principles and recent progress on small molecule PIM kinase inhibitors that are on their way into first clinical trials.
Project description:The Proviral Integration site of Moloney murine leukemia virus (PIM) serine/threonine protein kinases are overexpressed in many hematologic and solid tumor malignancies and play central roles in intracellular signaling networks important in tumorigenesis, including the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathways. The three PIM kinase isozymes (PIM1, PIM2, and PIM3) share similar downstream substrates with other key oncogenic kinases and have differing but mutually compensatory functions across tumors. This supports the therapeutic potential of pan-PIM kinase inhibitors, especially in combination with other anticancer agents chosen based on their role in overlapping signaling networks. Reported here is a preclinical characterization of INCB053914, a novel, potent, and selective adenosine triphosphate-competitive pan-PIM kinase inhibitor. In vitro, INCB053914 inhibited proliferation and the phosphorylation of downstream substrates in cell lines from multiple hematologic malignancies. Effects were confirmed in primary bone marrow blasts from patients with acute myeloid leukemia treated ex vivo and in blood samples from patients receiving INCB053914 in an ongoing phase 1 dose-escalation study. In vivo, single-agent INCB053914 inhibited Bcl-2-associated death promoter protein phosphorylation and dose-dependently inhibited tumor growth in acute myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma xenografts. Additive or synergistic inhibition of tumor growth was observed when INCB053914 was combined with selective PI3K? inhibition, selective JAK1 or JAK1/2 inhibition, or cytarabine. Based on these data, pan-PIM kinase inhibitors, including INCB053914, may have therapeutic utility in hematologic malignancies when combined with other inhibitors of oncogenic kinases or standard chemotherapeutics.
Project description:The Pim proteins are Ser/Thr kinases over-expressed in several hematological malignancies such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and some solid cancers like prostate cancer. Several small molecules have been developed to inhibit these kinases. In prostate cancer cell lines, the Pim kinase inhibitor SMI-4a and the Bcl-2 antagonist ABT-737 resulted in synergistic cytotoxicity. Akin to prostate cancer cells, CLL lymphocytes over-express Pim and Bcl-2 proteins. It was hypothesized that similar cytotoxic interaction should be observed in CLL. This study evaluated the in vitro cytotoxic effect of three Pim kinase inhibitors (AZD1208, SGI-1776 and SMI-4a) combined with Bcl-2 antagonists (ABT-737 or ABT-199) in malignant CLL lymphocytes. Data indicated Pim kinase inhibitors in combination with ABT-737 or ABT-199 resulted mostly in additive cytotoxicity with a few synergistic responses; however, the extent of synergism was less robust than that observed previously in prostate cancer cell lines treated with SMI-4a and ABT-737.
Project description:The PIM family of serine/threonine kinases has three highly conserved isoforms (PIM1, PIM2 and PIM3). PIM proteins are regulated through transcription and stability by JAK/STAT pathways and are overexpressed in hematological malignancies and solid tumors. The PIM kinases possess weak oncogenic abilities, but enhance other genes or chemical carcinogens to induce tumors. We generated conditional transgenic mice that overexpress PIM1 or PIM2 in male reproductive organs and analyzed their contribution to tumorigenesis. We found an increase in alterations of sexual organs and hyperplasia in the transgenic mice correlating with inflammation. We also found that PIM1/2 are overexpressed in a subset of human male germ cells and prostate tumors correlating with inflammatory features and stem cell markers. Our data suggest that PIM1/2 kinase overexpression is a common feature of male reproductive organs tumors, which provoke tissue alterations and a large inflammatory response that may act synergistically during the process of tumorigenesis. There is also a correlation with markers of cancer stem cells, which may contribute to the therapy resistance found in tumors overexpressing PIM kinases.
Project description:The Pim family of proto-oncogenes encodes a distinct class of serine/threonine kinases consisting of PIM1, PIM2, and PIM3. Although the Pim genes are evolutionarily highly conserved, the contribution of PIM proteins to mammalian development is unclear. PIM1-deficient mice were previously described but showed only minor phenotypic aberrations. To assess the role of PIM proteins in mammalian physiology, compound Pim knockout mice were generated. Mice lacking expression of Pim1, Pim2, and Pim3 are viable and fertile. However, PIM-deficient mice show a profound reduction in body size at birth and throughout postnatal life. In addition, the in vitro response of distinct hematopoietic cell populations to growth factors is severely impaired. In particular, PIM proteins are required for the efficient proliferation of peripheral T lymphocytes mediated by synergistic T-cell receptor and interleukin-2 signaling. These results indicate that members of the PIM family of proteins are important but dispensable factors for growth factor signaling.
Project description:The differentiation of human primary T helper 1 (Th1) cells from naïve precursor cells is regulated by a complex, interrelated signaling network. The identification of factors regulating the early steps of Th1 cell polarization can provide important insight in the development of therapeutics for many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The serine/threonine-specific proviral integration site for Moloney murine leukemia virus (PIM) kinases PIM1 and PIM2 have been implicated in the cytokine-dependent proliferation and survival of lymphocytes. We have established that the third member of this family, PIM3, is also expressed in human primary Th cells and identified a new function for the entire PIM kinase family in T lymphocytes. Although PIM kinases are expressed more in Th1 than Th2 cells, we demonstrate here that these kinases positively influence Th1 cell differentiation. Our RNA interference results from human primary Th cells also suggest that PIM kinases promote the production of IFN?, the hallmark cytokine produced by Th1 cells. Consistent with this, they also seem to be important for the up-regulation of the critical Th1-driving factor, T box expressed in T cells (T-BET), and the IL-12/STAT4 signaling pathway during the early Th1 differentiation process. In summary, we have identified PIM kinases as new regulators of human primary Th1 cell differentiation, thus providing new insights into the mechanisms controlling the selective development of human Th cell subsets.
Project description:Purpose:Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is associated with a poor overall prognosis. PIM family genes, including PIM1, PIM2, and PIM3, are proto-oncogenes that are aberrantly overexpressed in different types of human cancers. In this study, we aimed to explore and clarify the function of PIM3 in AML. Patients and Methods:The expression of the three PIM genes in AML was detected using the Gene Expression Omnibus. The expression of PIM3 and PIM3 in patient samples and AML cell lines was measured using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction or Western blot analyses. The cellular behaviors of PIM3-overexpressing AML cell lines were detected using a CCK-8 assay, flow cytometry, Western blotting, immunofluorescence staining, and a cell migration assay. The interactions between PIM3 and phosphorylated CXCR4 (pCXCR4) were explored via immunoprecipitation. Results:Higher PIM3 expression was detected in primary AML cells than in healthy donor cells. Second, PIM3 overexpression promoted AML cell proliferation and protected against spontaneous apoptosis by phosphorylating BAD (pBAD) at Ser112. Furthermore, PIM3 overexpression might promote the migration of AML cells via CXCR4. PIM3-overexpressing AML cell lines exhibited increased CXCR4 phosphorylation at Ser339, and pCXCR4 interacted with PIM3. Conclusion:Our findings suggest that PIM3 regulates the proliferation, survival, and chemotaxis of AML cell lines. Moreover, pCXCR4 might mediate the regulation of PIM3-induced chemotaxis. Therefore, the inhibition of PIM3 expression may be a promising therapeutic target in AML.