SRPK1 contributes to malignancy of hepatocellular carcinoma through a possible mechanism involving PI3K/Akt
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- Zhou, B., Li, Y., Deng, Q. et al. Mol Cell Biochem (2013) 379: 191. doi:10.1007/s11010-013-1641-7
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Protein kinases are important regulators in biologic processes. Aberrant expression of protein kinases often causes diseases including cancer. In the present study, we found that the serine-arginine protein kinase 1 (SRPK1) might be involved in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) proliferation from a kinome screen using a loss-of-function approach. In clinical samples, SRPK1 was frequently up-regulated in HCCs as compared with adjacent non-tumor tissues at both mRNA and protein levels. Functional studies indicated that overexpression of wild-type SRPK1 promoted HCC cell proliferation, while forced expression of the kinase-dead mutant of SRPK1 or RNA interference against SRPK1 suppressed cell growth and malignancy as measured in soft agar assay. The kinase-dead mutant of SRPK1 also inhibited subcutaneous xenografts’ growth of HCC cells in nude mice. Furthermore, western bolt analysis showed overexpression of wild-type SRPK1 enhanced Akt phosphorylation and knockdown of SRPK1 by RNA interference attenuated Akt phosphorylation induced by epidermal growth factor. Meanwhile, overexpression of wild-type SRPK1 also induced a concurrent increase in the total tyrosine phosphorylation of phosphotidylinositol-3 kinase p110α subunit, indicating a functional link between SRPK1 and PI3K/Akt signaling. Our findings suggest that SRPK1 plays an oncogenic role and could be a potential therapeutic target in HCC.