Priority Research Papers:

UVB-induced nuclear translocation of TC-PTP by AKT/14-3-3σ axis inhibits keratinocyte survival and proliferation

Mihwa Kim, Liza D. Morales, Minwoo Baek, Thomas J. Slaga, John DiGiovanni and Dae Joon Kim _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:90674-90692. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21794

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Mihwa Kim1, Liza D. Morales1,2, Minwoo Baek1, Thomas J. Slaga3, John DiGiovanni4 and Dae Joon Kim1

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX, USA

2 South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute, School of Medicine, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX, USA

3 Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA

4 Division of Pharmacology & Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA

Correspondence to:

Dae Joon Kim, email:

Keywords: TC-PTP, nuclear translocation, AKT, 14-3-3σ, keratinocytes

Received: June 26, 2017 Accepted: September 15, 2017 Published: October 11, 2017


Understanding protein subcellular localization is important to determining the functional role of specific proteins. T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TC-PTP) contains bipartite nuclear localization signals (NLSI and NLSII) in its C-terminus. We previously have demonstrated that the nuclear form of TC-PTP (TC45) is mainly localized to the cytoplasm in keratinocytes and it is translocated to the nucleus following UVB irradiation. Here, we report that TC45 is translocated by an AKT/14-3-3σ-mediated mechanism in response to UVB exposure, resulting in increased apoptosis and decreased keratinocyte proliferation. We demonstrate that UVB irradiation increased phosphorylation of AKT and induced nuclear translocation of 14-3-3σ and TC45. However, inhibition of AKT blocked nuclear translocation of TC45 and 14-3-3σ. Site-directed mutagenesis of 14-3-3σ binding sites within TC45 showed that a substitution at Threonine 179 (TC45/T179A) effectively blocked UVB-induced nuclear translocation of ectopic TC45 due to the disruption of the direct binding between TC45 and 14-3-3σ. Overexpression of TC45/T179A in keratinocytes resulted in a decrease of UVB-induced apoptosis which corresponded to an increase in nuclear phosphorylated STAT3, and cell proliferation was higher in TC45/T179A-overexpressing keratinocytes compared to control keratinocytes following UVB irradiation. Furthermore, deletion of TC45 NLSII blocked its UVB-induced nuclear translocation, indicating that both T179 and NLSII are required. Taken together, our findings suggest that AKT and 14-3-3σ cooperatively regulate TC45 nuclear translocation in a critical step of an early protective mechanism against UVB exposure that signals the deactivation of STAT3 in order to promote keratinocyte cell death and inhibit keratinocyte proliferation.

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