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Mol. Cell. Biol. 24 (8): 3526-3535

Copyright © 2004 by the American Society for Microbiology. All rights reserved.

ARK5 Is a Tumor Invasion-Associated Factor Downstream of Akt Signaling

Atsushi Suzuki, Jie Lu, Gen-ichi Kusakai, Atsuhiro Kishimoto, Tsutomu Ogura, and Hiroyasu Esumi*

Investigative Treatment Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute East, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8577, Japan

Received for publication 29 July 2003. Revision received 29 August 2003. Accepted for publication 14 January 2004.

Abstract: AMP-activated protein kinases (AMPKs) are a class of serine/threonine protein kinases that are activated by an increase in intracellular AMP concentration. They are a sensitive indicator of cellular energy status and have been found to promote tumor cell survival during nutrient starvation. We recently identified a novel AMPK catalytic subunit family member, ARK5, whose activation is directly regulated by Akt, which, in turn, has been reported to be a key player in tumor malignancy. In this study, we attempted to determine whether ARK5 is involved in tumor malignancy under regulation by Akt. Matrigel invasion assays demonstrated that both overexpressed and endogenous ARK5 showed strong activity dependent on Akt. In addition, ARK5 expression induced activation of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 following new expression of membrane type 1 MMP (MT1-MMP), and the MT1-MMP expression induced by ARK5 was initiated by rapamycin-sensitive signaling. In nude mice, ARK5 expression was associated with a significant increase in tumor growth and significant suppression of necrosis in tumor tissue. Interestingly, only the ARK5-overexpressing PANC-1 cell line (P/ARK) tumor showed invasion and metastasis in nude mice, although Akt was activated in tumors derived from both P/ARK and its parental cell line. We report that a novel AMPK catalytic subunit family member, ARK5, plays a key role in tumor malignancy downstream of Akt.

* Corresponding author. Mailing address: Investigative Treatment Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute East, 6-5-1 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8577, Japan. Phone: 81-4-7134-6880. Fax: 81-4-7134-6859. E-mail: hesumi{at}

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