USP49 negatively regulates tumorigenesis and chemoresistance through FKBP51-AKT signaling

Kuntian Luo, Yunhui Li, Yujiao Yin, Lei Li, Chenming Wu, Yuping Chen, Somaira Nowsheen, Qi Hu, Lizhi Zhang, Zhenkun Lou, Jian Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The AKT pathway is a fundamental signaling pathway that mediates multiple cellular processes, such as cell proliferation and survival, angiogenesis, and glucose metabolism. We recently reported that the immunophilin FKBP51 is a scaffolding protein that can enhance PHLPP-AKT interaction and facilitate PHLPP-mediated dephosphorylation of AKT at Ser473, negatively regulating AKT activation. However, the regulation of FKBP51-PHLPP-AKT pathway remains unclear. Here we report that a deubiquitinase, USP49, is a new regulator of the AKT pathway. Mechanistically, USP49 deubiquitinates and stabilizes FKBP51, which in turn enhances PHLPP's capability to dephosphorylate AKT. Furthermore, USP49 inhibited pancreatic cancer cell proliferation and enhanced cellular response to gemcitabine in a FKBP51-AKT-dependent manner. Clinically, decreased expression of USP49 in patients with pancreatic cancer was associated with decreased FKBP51 expression and increased AKT phosphorylation. Overall, our findings establish USP49 as a novel regulator of AKT pathway with a critical role in tumorigenesis and chemo-response in pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1434-1446
Number of pages13
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2017


  • AKT
  • FKBP51
  • chemoresistance
  • deubiquitination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'USP49 negatively regulates tumorigenesis and chemoresistance through FKBP51-AKT signaling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this