The Pim protein kinases regulate energy metabolism and cell growth.

Zanna Beharry, Sandeep Mahajan, Marina Zemskova, Ying Wei Lin, Baby G. Tholanikunnel, Zuping Xia, Charles D. Smith, Andrew S. Kraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The serine/threonine Pim kinases are overexpressed in solid cancers and hematologic malignancies and promote cell growth and survival. Here, we find that a novel Pim kinase inhibitor, SMI-4a, or Pim-1 siRNA blocked the rapamycin-sensitive mammalian target of rapamycin (mTORC1) activity by stimulating the phosphorylation and thus activating the mTORC1 negative regulator AMP-dependent protein kinase (AMPK). Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) deficient for all three Pim kinases [triple knockout (TKO) MEFs] demonstrated activated AMPK driven by elevated ratios of AMPATP relative to wild-type MEFs. Consistent with these findings, TKO MEFs were found to grow slowly in culture and have decreased rates of protein synthesis secondary to a diminished amount of 5'-cap-dependent translation. Pim-3 expression alone in TKO MEFs was sufficient to reverse AMPK activation, increase protein synthesis, and drive MEF growth similar to wild type. Pim-3 expression was found to markedly increase the protein levels of both c-Myc and the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1α (PGC-1α), enzymes capable of regulating glycolysis and mitochondrial biogenesis, which were diminished in TKO MEFs. Overexpression of PGC-1α in TKO MEFs elevated ATP levels and inhibited the activation of AMPK. These results demonstrate the Pim kinase-mediated control of energy metabolism and thus regulation of AMPK activity. We identify an important role for Pim-3 in modulating c-Myc and PGC-1α protein levels and cell growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-533
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 11 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'The Pim protein kinases regulate energy metabolism and cell growth.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this