We found that AXL interacts with hematopoietic progenitor kinase 1 (HPK1) and demonstrate that HPK1 down-regulates AXL and decreases its half-life. ubiquitination; decreased AXL-mediated signaling, including phospho-AKT and phospho-ERK signaling; and decreased the invasion capability of PDAC cells. Importantly, we display that AXL manifestation inversely correlates with HPK1 manifestation in human being PanINs and that individuals whose tumors have low HPK1 and high AXL manifestation levels possess shorter survival BT-13 than those with low AXL or high HPK1 manifestation ( 0.001). Our results suggest that HPK1 is definitely a tumor suppressor that focuses on AXL for degradation via the endocytic pathway. HPK1 loss of function may contribute to AXL overexpression and therefore enhance AXL-dependent downstream signaling and tumor invasion in PDAC. (2) showed the selective AXL kinase inhibitor, BGB324, not only inhibits the aggressiveness of pancreatic malignancy and sensitizes pancreatic malignancy cells to gemcitabine, but also induces an immune stimulatory microenvironment. Neutralizing mAbs against AXL or Gas6 inhibits AKT signaling in pancreatic malignancy and tumor growth in xenograft tumor models (2, 22). The results from these preclinical studies provide strong rationale for focusing on the Gas6CAXL autocrine pathway to improve the treatment efficacies and medical outcomes in individuals with pancreatic malignancy and cancers of additional organs. Previous studies by Leconet (21, 22) showed that anti-AXL mAbs induced internalization and down-regulation of AXL in both pancreatic malignancy and triple-negative breast cancer cells. Their results suggest that endocytosis may be one of the major mechanisms regulating AXL manifestation in malignancy cells. Consistent with this notion, Valverde (27) reported that binding of Gas6 to AXL induces the phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and down-regulation of AXL in human being lens epithelial cells through endocytosis/lysosomal degradation, but not through proteasomal degradation. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating the manifestation of AXL in pancreatic malignancy or other human being malignancies are unclear. Hematopoietic progenitor kinase 1 BT-13 (HPK1), also named MAP4K1, is definitely a mammalian Ste20-related serine/threonine kinase, which has been shown to regulate NF-B and c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathways in hematopoietic cells (28, 29). We previously showed that HPK1 protein is definitely expressed in normal pancreatic ductal cells but is definitely lost in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC). Loss of HPK1 is definitely strongly associated with the progression from early pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) to PDAC. Repairing HPK1 manifestation in PDAC cells prospects to cell cycle arrest and growth inhibition, which is due, in part, to the stabilization of p21 and p27 (30). Consequently, HPK1 may function as a novel tumor suppressor in pancreatic tumorigenesis. Our previous studies also shown that loss of HPK1 in PDAC is definitely mediated by CUL7/Fbxw8 ubiquitin ligase through 26S proteasome, which requires BT-13 HPK1 kinase activity and autophosphorylation (31, 32). To further explore the mechanisms of the tumor suppressor functions of HPK1, we recognized AXL as one of Rabbit polyclonal to SP1 the major HPK1-interacting proteins in PDAC cells using antibody array-based screening, and we examined the part of HPK1 in regulating AXL signaling. Our study not only reveals a novel mechanism by which HPK1 down-regulates oncogenic AXL through the endocytic pathway, but also provides the fresh link between HPK1 and the oncogenic Gas6CAXL pathway in pancreatic malignancy. Results AXL actually associates with HPK1 To identify the binding partners of HPK1 in PDAC cells, we performed an antibody array screening using Panc-1/HPK1 stable cells and recognized AXL as one of the major binding partners of HPK1 in PDAC cells (Fig. 1and and and a schematic drawing of the website structure of HPK1 protein. AXL binds to the C-terminal website of HPK1. HEK293T cells were transfected with AXL only or co-transfected with AXL and Flag-HPK1, Flag-HPK1 KD, or Flag-HPK1 CD manifestation plasmids. Cell lysates were collected for co-immunoprecipitation with M2 beads. Immunoprecipitated (Western blotting. HPK1 possesses a kinase website (KD, 1C274 amino acids) and a C-terminal website (CD, 275C833 amino acids) (33). The C-terminal website includes four proline-rich areas (PR1CPR4) and a citron homology website (Fig. 1and and and and and co-transfection of HGK or HPK1-M46, a kinase-dead form of HPK1 with pCMV-AXL manifestation plasmid into HEK293T cells does not impact BT-13 the AXL BT-13 manifestation. The manifestation levels of AXL protein and actin were quantified using ImageJ software..