Lymphocyte antigen 6K (LY6K) is a small GPI-linked protein that is normally expressed in testes. Increased expression of LY6K is significantly associated with poor survival outcomes in many solid cancers, including cancers of the breast, ovary, gastrointestinal tract, head and neck, brain, bladder, and lung. LY6K is required for ERK-AKT and TGF-β pathways in cancer cells and is required for in vivo tumor growth. In this report, we describe a novel role for LY6K in mitosis and cytokinesis through aurora B kinase and its substrate histone H3 signaling axis. Further, we describe the structural basis of the molecular interaction of small molecule NSC243928 with LY6K protein and the disruption of LY6K-aurora B signaling in cell cycle progression due to LY6K-NSC243928 interaction. Overall, disruption of LY6K function via NSC243928 led to failed cytokinesis, multinucleated cells, DNA damage, senescence, and apoptosis of cancer cells. LY6K is not required for vital organ function, thus inhibition of LY6K signaling is an ideal therapeutic approach for hard-to-treat cancers that lack targeted therapy such as triple-negative breast cancer.
- Aurora B
- Triple negative breast cancer