Cellular signalling

Tumor suppressor BLU enhances pro-apoptotic activity of sMEK1 through physical interaction.

PMID 22349239


BLU is a tumor suppressor that acts as a transcriptional regulator through the association with cellular components. However, the working mechanism of BLU in cellular functions was not understood. We found that BLU directly interacts with sMEK1, a regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 4. Furthermore, we determined the binding domains that are required for interaction between BLU and sMEK1. The N-terminal of BLU was observed to interact with the C-terminal of sMEK1. Binding activity was confirmed by the BLU-dependent increase of sMEK1 expression, as well as by the induced apoptotic activity. Also, expression of BLU and sMEK1 was down-regulated in ovarian and cervical patients, and was hypermethylated. These findings indicate that BLU can mediate the pro-apoptotic activity through the induction of sMEK1.