Protein Kinase C-δ–Mediated Recycling of Active KIT in Colon Cancer
Misun Park ; Won Kyu Kim ; Hoguen Kim ; Sung Hee Baek ; Hye Jin Nam ; Hyunki Kim ; Minhee Park ; Meiying Song
Clinical Cancer Research, Vol.19(18) : 4961~4971, 2013
Clinical Cancer Research
Abnormal signaling through receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) moieties is important in tumorigenesis and drug targeting of colorectal cancers. Wild-type KIT (WT-KIT), a RTK that is activated upon binding with stem cell factor (SCF), is highly expressed in some colon cancers; however, little is known about the functional role of SCF-dependent KIT activation in colon cancer pathogenesis. We aimed to elucidate the conditions and roles of WT-KIT activation in colon cancer tumorigenesis.
Colorectal cancers with KIT expression were characterized by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. The biologic alterations after KIT-SCF binding were analyzed with or without protein kinase C (PKC) activation.
We found that WT-KIT was expressed in a subset of colon cancer cell lines and was activated by SCF, leading to activation of downstream AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathways. We also showed that KIT expression gradually decreased, after prolonged SCF stimulation, due to lysosomal degradation. Degradation of WT-KIT after SCF binding was significantly rescued when PKC was activated. We also showed the involvement of activated PKC-δ in the recycling of WT-KIT. We further showed that a subset of colorectal cancers exhibit expressions of both WT-KIT and activated PKC-δ and that expression of KIT is correlated with poor patient survival (P = 0.004).
Continuous downstream signal activation after KIT-SCF binding is accomplished through PKC-δ-mediated recycling of KIT. This sustained KIT activation may contribute to tumor progression in a subset of colon cancers with KIT expression and might provide the rationale for a therapeutic approach targeting KIT.