Pim1 kinase is required to maintain tumorigenicity in MYC-expressing prostate cancer cells

Oncogene. 2012 Apr 5;31(14):1794-803. doi: 10.1038/onc.2011.371. Epub 2011 Aug 22.


PIM1 kinase and MYC are commonly co-expressed in human prostate cancer and synergize to induce rapidly progressing prostate cancer in mouse models. Deficiency of the Pim kinase genes is well tolerated in vivo, suggesting that PIM1 inhibition might offer an attractive therapeutic modality for prostate cancer, particularly for MYC-expressing tumors. Here we examine the molecular consequences of Pim1 and MYC overexpression in the prostate as well as the effects of depleting Pim1 in prostate carcinoma cells with high levels of MYC. Overexpression of Pim1 in the mouse prostate induces several pro-tumorigenic genetic programs including cell cycle genes and Myc-regulated genes before the induction of any discernible pathology. Pim1 depletion by RNA interference in mouse and human prostate cancer cells decreased cellular proliferation, survival, Erk signaling and tumorigenicity even when MYC levels were not significantly altered. These results indicate that PIM1 may be necessary to maintain tumorigenicity, and further support efforts aimed at developing PIM1 inhibitors for prostate cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-pim-1 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-pim-1 / physiology*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-pim-1