Membrane-associated guanylate kinase with inverted orientation protein 1 (MAGI-1) is a cytoplasmic scaffold protein that interacts with various signaling molecules; it negatively controls the cell growth of various types of cells and positively controls cell–cell interaction. In T cells, MAGI-1 has been shown to inhibit Akt activity through its interaction with PTEN and MEK1. In this study we found that MAGI-1 expression is decreased in multiple (9 out of 15) human T-cell leukemia cell lines, including adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and chronic T-cell lymphocytic leukemia. The overexpression of MAGI-1 protein in a MAGI-1-low ATL cell line reduced cellular growth. While the overexpression of MAGI-1 protein in a MAGI-1-low ATL cell line reduced the Akt and MEK activities, the knockdown of MAGI-1 in a MAGI-1-high ATL cell line augmented the Akt and MEK activities. Collectively, the findings of the present study suggest that the decreased expression of MAGI-1 in human T cells contributes to the development of several types of T-cell leukemia, partly through the stimulation of the Akt and MEK pathways.
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