Biomol Ther.  2022 Jul;30(4):340-347. 10.4062/biomolther.2022.066.

PRR16/Largen Induces Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition through the Interaction with ABI2 Leading to the Activation of ABL1 Kinase

  • 1Lillehei Heart Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
  • 2College of Pharmacy, Dongguk University, Goyang 10326, Republic of Korea
  • 3National Cancer Center, Goyang 10408, Republic of Korea


Advanced or metastatic breast cancer affects multiple organs and is a leading cause of cancer-related death. Cancer metastasis is associated with epithelial-mesenchymal metastasis (EMT). However, the specific signals that induce and regulate EMT in carcinoma cells remain unclear. PRR16/Largen is a cell size regulator that is independent of mTOR and Hippo signalling pathways. However, little is known about the role PRR16 plays in the EMT process. We found that the expression of PRR16 was increased in mesenchymal breast cancer cell lines. PRR16 overexpression induced EMT in MCF7 breast cancer cells and enhances migration and invasion. To determine how PRR16 induces EMT, the binding proteins for PRR16 were screened, revealing that PRR16 binds to Abl interactor 2 (ABI2). We then investigated whether ABI2 is involved in EMT. Gene silencing of ABI2 induces EMT, leading to enhanced migration and invasion. ABI2 is a gene that codes for a protein that interacts with ABL proto-oncogene 1 (ABL1) kinase. Therefore, we investigated whether the change in ABI2 expression affected the activation of ABL1 kinase. The knockdown of ABI2 and PRR16 overexpression increased the phosphorylation of Y412 in ABL1 kinase. Our results suggest that PRR16 may be involved in EMT by binding to ABI2 and interfering with its inhibition of ABL1 kinase. This indicates that ABL1 kinase inhibitors may be potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of PRR16-related breast cancer.


PRR16; ABI2; ABL1 kinase; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Breast cancer
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