FEBS Open Bio. 2020 Aug 31. doi: 10.1002/2211-5463.12964. Online ahead of print.
Lemur tyrosine kinase 3 (LMTK3) is a key member of the serine/threonine tyrosine kinase family. It plays an important role in breast cancer tumorigenesis and progression. However, its biological role in bladder cancer remains elusive. In this study, we demonstrated that LMTK3 was overexpressed in bladder cancer, and was positively correlated with bladder cancer malignancy. High LMTK3 expression predicted poor overall survival. Knockdown of LMTK3 in bladder cancer cells triggered cell cycle
arrest at G2/M phase, suppressed cell growth and induced cell apoptosis in bladder cancer cells. Furthermore, transwell assays revealed that reduction of LMTK3 decreased cell migration by regulating the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) pathway. Conversely, LKTM3 overexpression was shown to promote proliferation and migration of bladder cancer cells. We assessed phosphorylation of MEK and ERK1/2 in bladder cancer cells depleted of LMTK3 and demonstrated a reduced phosphorylation status compared to the control group. Using a MAPK signaling-specific inhibitor, U0126, we could rescue the promotion of proliferation and viability in LMTK3 overexpressing cells. In conclusion, we extend the status of LMTK3 as an oncogene in bladder cancer and provide evidence for its function via the activation of the ERK/MAPK pathway. Thus, targeting LMTK3 may hold potential as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker and as a possible future treatment for bladder cancer.