Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), commonly known as a nuclear protein essential for regulation of DNA replication, DNA repair, and epigenetics, has recently been associated with multiple cytosolic functions. Many proteins containing one of the two known PCNA-interacting motifs, the AlkB homologue 2 PCNA interacting motif (APIM) and the PCNA-interacting peptide (PIP)-box, are considered to be mainly cytosolic. APIM is found in more than 20 kinases and/or associated proteins including several direct or indirect members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and PI3K/Akt pathways. Mass spectrometry analysis of PCNA-pull downs verified that many cytosolic proteins involved in the MAPK and PI3K/Akt pathways are in complex with PCNA. Furthermore, treatment of cells with a PCNA-interacting APIM-containing peptide (APIM-peptide) reduced Akt phosphorylation in human peripheral blood monocytes and a human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT). Additionally, the APIM-peptide strongly reduced the cytokine secretion from monocytes stimulated with toll like receptor (TLR) ligands and potentiated the effects of MAPK and PI3K/Akt inhibitors. Interestingly, the protein level of the APIM-containing PKR/RIG-1 activator protein (PACT) was initially strongly reduced in HaCaT cells stimulated with APIM-peptide in combination with the TLR ligand polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (polyIC). Our results suggest that PCNA has a platform role in cytosol affecting cellular signaling.
Olaisen, C., Müller, R., Nedal, A., & Otterlei, M. (2015). PCNA-interacting peptides reduce Akt phosphorylation and TLR-mediated cytokine secretion suggesting a role of PCNA in cellular signaling. Cellular Signalling, 27(7), 1478–1487. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cellsig.2015.03.009