The Ca2+-calmodulin-dependent kinase II is activated in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and mediates cell proliferation stimulated by RET/PTC

Maria Rosaria Rusciano, Marcella Salzano, Sara Monaco, Maria Rosaria Sapio, Maddalena Illario, Valentina De Falco, Massimo Santoro, Pietro Campiglia, Lucio Pastore, Gianfranco Fenzi, Guido Rossi, Mario Vitale
Endocrine-related Cancer 2010, 17 (1): 113-23
RET/papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), TRK-T, or activating mutations of Ras and BRaf are frequent genetic alterations in PTC, all leading to the activation of the extracellular-regulated kinase (Erk) cascade. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) in the signal transduction leading to Erk activation in PTC cells. In normal thyroid cells, CaMKII and Erk were in the inactive form in the absence of stimulation. In primary PTC cultures and in PTC cell lines harboring the oncogenes RET/PTC-1 or BRaf(V600E), CaMKII was active also in the absence of any stimulation. Inhibition of calmodulin or phospholipase C (PLC) attenuated the level of CaMKII activation. Expression of recombinant RET/PTC-3, BRaf(V600E), or Ras(V12) induced CaMKII activation. Inhibition of CaMKII attenuated Erk activation and DNA synthesis in thyroid papillary carcinoma (TPC-1), a cell line harboring RET/PTC-1, suggesting that CaMKII is a component of the Erk signal cascade in this cell line. In conclusion, PTCs contain an active PLC/Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent signal inducing constitutive activation of CaMKII. This kinase is activated by BRaf(V600E), oncogenic Ras, and by RET/PTC. CaMKII participates to the activation of the Erk pathway by oncogenic Ras and RET/PTC and contributes to their signal output, thus modulating tumor cell proliferation.

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