Jinsong Liu

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States

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Publications (2)11.71 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Mixed lineage kinase 3 (MLK3) is a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAP3K) that activates MAPK signaling pathways and regulates cellular responses such as proliferation, migration and apoptosis. Here we report high levels of total and phospho-MLK3 in ovarian cancer cell lines in comparison to immortalized nontumorigenic ovarian epithelial cell lines. Using small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated gene silencing, we determined that MLK3 is required for the invasion of SKOV3 and HEY1B ovarian cancer cells. Furthermore, mlk3 silencing substantially reduced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, -2, -9 and -12 gene expression and MMP-2 and -9 activities in SKOV3 and HEY1B ovarian cancer cells. MMP-1, -2, -9 and-12 expression, and MLK3-induced activation of MMP-2 and MMP-9 requires both extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activities. In addition, inhibition of activator protein-1 (AP-1) reduced MMP-1, MMP-9 and MMP-12 gene expression. Collectively, these findings establish MLK3 as an important regulator of MMP expression and invasion in ovarian cancer cells.
    Experimental Cell Research 05/2012; 318(14):1641-8. DOI:10.1016/j.yexcr.2012.05.002 · 3.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Neurofibromatosis-2 (NF2) tumor suppressor merlin negatively regulates cell proliferation in numerous cell types. We have previously shown that the NF2 protein (merlin/schwannomin) associates with mixed lineage kinase 3 (MLK3), a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase kinase that is required for the proliferation of normal and neoplastic cells. In this study, we show that merlin inhibits MLK3 activity, as well as the activation of its downstream effectors, B-Raf, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). The ability of merlin to regulate MLK3 activity requires a direct association between MLK3 and residues in the C-terminal region of merlin. Merlin integrates Rho GTPase family signaling with MAPK activity by inhibiting the binding between MLK3 and its upstream activator, Cdc42. Furthermore, we demonstrate that MLK3 is required for merlin-mediated suppression of cell proliferation and invasion. Collectively, these results establish merlin as a potent inhibitor of MLK3, ERK and JNK activation in cancer, and provide a mechanistic link between deregulated MAPK and Rho GTPase signaling in NF2 growth control.
    Oncogene 10/2010; 30(7):781-9. DOI:10.1038/onc.2010.453 · 8.46 Impact Factor