MAPK and PI3K/AKT mediated YB-1 activation promotes melanoma cell proliferation which is counteracted by an autoregulatory loop

Tobias Sinnberg, Birgit Sauer, Per Holm, Barbara Spangler, Silke Kuphal, Anja Bosserhoff, Birgit Schittek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Y-box binding protein 1 (YB-1) is an oncogenic transcription and translation factor and is overexpressed in several types of cancer. Our previous data showed that YB-1 is upregulated and translocated to the nucleus during melanoma progression and that YB-1 is an important transcription factor regulating proliferation, survival, migration, invasion and chemosensitivity of melanoma cells. It has been suggested that YB-1 is activated and translocated to the nucleus after S102-phosphorylation in the DNA binding domain. In this study, we show that activation of YB-1 by S102-phosphorylation and nuclear translocation is increased during melanoma progression using a human tissue microarray with 100 melanocytic lesions. Furthermore, we analysed the mechanisms governing the expression and activity of YB-1 in melanoma cells. We show that the PI3K/AKT and p53 signalling, growth factors and chemotherapeutic agents increase YB-1 promoter activity. This, however, resulted in no or only modest increase in YB-1 protein expression. We show that the MAPK and PI3K/AKT signalling pathways, both activated in melanoma cells, as well as p53 overexpression increase YB-1 S102-phosphorylation, whereas NFκB signalling inhibits phosphorylation. Overexpression of YB-1 in melanoma cells inhibits translation efficiency and by this proliferation and survival of melanoma cells indicating that there is an autoregulatory loop restricting YB-1 protein expression. These data suggest that there is a tightly regulated feedback mechanism regulating YB-1 expression and activation, necessary for proper cell cycle progression of melanoma cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • MAPK signalling
  • Melanoma
  • NFκB signalling
  • PI3K signalling
  • YB-1


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