Deficiency of the Pim kinase genes is well tolerated in vivo, suggesting that PIM1 inhibition might offer an attractive therapeutic modality for prostate cancer, particularly for MYC-expressing tumors.
Here we examine the molecular consequences of Pim1 and MYC overexpression in the prostate as well as the effects of depleting Pim1 in prostate carcinoma cells with high levels of MYC. Overexpression of Pim1 in the mouse prostate induces several pro-tumorigenic genetic programs including cell cycle genes and Myc-regulated genes before the induction of any discernible pathology. Pim1 depletion by RNA interference in mouse and human prostate cancer cells decreased cellular proliferation, survival, Erk signaling and tumorigenicity even when MYC levels were not significantly altered.
These results indicate that PIM1 may be necessary to maintain tumorigenicity, and further support efforts aimed at developing PIM1 inhibitors for prostate cancer therapy.