Etk/Bmx, a tyrosine kinase with a pleckstrin-homology domain, is an effector of phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase and is involved in interleukin 6- induced neuroendocrine differentiation of prostate cancer cells

Y. Qiu, D. Robinson, T. G. Pretlow, H. J. Kung

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208 Citations (Scopus)


Etk/Bmx is the newest member of Btk tyrosine kinase family that contains a pleckstrin homology domain, an src homology 3 domain, an src homology 2 domain, and a catalytic domain. Unlike other members of the Btk family kinases, which are mostly hemopoietic cell-specific, Etk/Bmx is preferentially expressed in epithelial and endothelial cells. We first identified this kinase in prostate cancer [Robinson, D., He, F, Pretlow, T. and Kung, H. J. (1996) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93, 5958-5962). Here we report that Etk is engaged in phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) pathway and plays a pivotal role in interleukin 6 (IL-6) signaling in a prostate cancer cell line, LNCaP. Our evidence that PI3-kinase is involved in Etk activation includes: (i) Wortmannin, a specific inhibitor of PI3-kinase, abolished the activation of Etk by IL-6; (ii) a constitutively active p110 subunit of PI3-kinase was able to activate Etk in the absence of IL-6; and (iii) a dominant negative p85 subunit of PI3-kinase mutant blocked the activation of Etk by IL-6. Interestingly, IL-6 treatment of LNCaP induced a remarkable neuroendocrine-like differentiation phenotype, with neurite extension and enhanced expression of neuronal markers. This phenotype could be abrogated by the overexpression of a dominant-negative Etk, indicating Etk is required for this differentiation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3644-3649
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 31 1998
Externally publishedYes



  • Cytokine
  • LNCaP
  • Phosphatidylinositides
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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