Inhibition of HSP90 by AT13387 delays the emergence of resistance to BRAF inhibitors and overcomes resistance to dual BRAF and MEK inhibition in melanoma models.
ABSTRACT: Emergence of clinical resistance to BRAF inhibitors, alone or in combination with MEK inhibitors, limits clinical responses in melanoma. Inhibiting HSP90 offers an approach to simultaneously interfere with multiple resistance mechanisms. Using the HSP90 inhibitor AT13387, which is currently in clinical trials, we investigated the potential of HSP90 inhibition to overcome or delay the emergence of resistance to these kinase inhibitors in melanoma models. In vitro, treating vemurafenib-sensitive cells (A375 or SK-MEL-28) with a combination of AT13387 and vemurafenib prevented colony growth under conditions in which vemurafenib treatment alone generated resistant colonies. In vivo, when AT13387 was combined with vemurafenib in a SK-MEL-28, vemurafenib-sensitive model, no regrowth of tumors was observed over 5 months, although 2 of 7 tumors in the vemurafenib monotherapy group relapsed in this time. Together, these data suggest that the combination of these agents can delay the emergence of resistance. Cell lines with acquired vemurafenib resistance, derived from these models (A375R and SK-MEL-28R) were also sensitive to HSP90 inhibitor treatment; key clients were depleted, apoptosis was induced, and growth in 3D culture was inhibited. Similar effects were observed in cell lines with acquired resistance to both BRAF and MEK inhibitors (SK-MEL-28RR, WM164RR, and 1205LuRR). These data suggest that treatment with an HSP90 inhibitor, such as AT13387, is a potential approach for combating resistance to BRAF and MEK inhibition in melanoma. Moreover, frontline combination of these agents with an HSP90 inhibitor could delay the emergence of resistance, providing a strong rationale for clinical investigation of such combinations in BRAF-mutated melanoma.
Project description:Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) is a molecular chaperone which stabilizes client proteins with important roles in tumor growth. 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), an inhibitor of HSP90 ATPase activity, occupies the ATP binding site of HSP90 causing a conformational change which destabilizes client proteins and directs them towards proteosomal degradation. Malignant melanomas have active RAF-MEK-ERK signaling which can occur either through an activating mutation in BRAF (BRAFV600E) or through activation of signal transduction upstream of BRAF. Prior work showed that 17-AAG inhibits cell growth in BRAFV600E and BRAF wildtype (BRAFWT) melanomas, although there were conflicting reports about the dependence of BRAFV600E and BRAFWT upon HSP90 activity for stability. Here, we demonstrate that BRAFWT and CRAF are bound by HSP90 in BRAFWT, NRAS mutant melanoma cells. HSP90 inhibition by 17-AAG inhibits ERK signaling and cell growth by destabilizing CRAF but not BRAFWT in the majority of NRAS mutant melanoma cells. The highly-selective BRAFV600E inhibitor, PLX4032 (vemurafenib), inhibits ERK signaling and cell growth in mutant BRAF melanoma cells, but paradoxically enhances signaling in cells with wild-type BRAF. In our study, we examined whether 17-AAG could inhibit PLX4032-enhanced ERK signaling in BRAFWT melanoma cells. As expected, PLX4032 alone enhanced ERK signaling in the BRAFWT melanoma cell lines Mel-Juso, SK-Mel-2, and SK-Mel-30, and inhibited signaling and cell growth in BRAFV600E A375 cells. However, HSP90 inhibition by 17-AAG inhibited PLX4032-enhanced ERK signaling and inhibited cell growth by destabilizing CRAF. Surprisingly, 17-AAG also stimulated melanin production in SK-Mel-30 cells and enhanced TYRP1 and DCT expression without stimulating TYR production in all three BRAFWT cell lines studied as well as in B16F10 mouse melanoma cells. In vivo, the combination of 17-AAG and cellular immunotherapy directed against Tyrp1 enhanced the inhibition of tumor growth compared to either therapy alone. Our studies support a role for 17-AAG and HSP90 inhibition in enhancing cellular immunotherapy for melanoma.
Project description:Analysis of transcriptome kinetics of SW1736 thyroid cancer cell line vs SK-MEL-28 melanoma cell line at various times after addition of 2 µM vemurafenib. The hypothesis tested was that SW1736 cells (vemurafenib-refractory) differentially express genes compared to SK-MEL-28 cells (vemurafenib sensitive) that confer resistance to the RAF inhibitor. Total RNA was obtained from lysates of SW1726 and SK-MEL-28 cells treated with 2 µM vemurafenib for 0, 1, 6 and 48 h. Experiment was made by triplicate.
Project description:Melanoma harboring BRAF mutations frequently develop resistance to BRAF inhibitors, limiting the impact of treatment. Here, we establish a mechanism of resistance and subsequently identified a suitable drug combination to overcome the resistance. Single treatment of BRAF mutant melanoma cell lines with vemurafenib or dabrafenib (BRAF inhibitors) alone or in combination with trametinib (MEK1/2 inhibitor) resulted in overexpression of Mcl-1. Overexpression of Mcl-1 in A375 and SK-MEL-28 by transfection completely blocked BRAF and MEK1/2 inhibitor-mediated inhibition of cell survival and apoptosis. Melanoma cells resistant to BRAF inhibitors showed massive expression of Mcl-1 as compared to respective sensitive cell lines. Silencing of Mcl-1 using siRNA completely sensitized resistant melanoma cells to growth suppression and induction of apoptosis by BRAF inhibitors. In vivo, vemurafenib resistant A375 xenografts implanted in athymic nude mice showed substantial tumor growth inhibition when treated with a combination of vemurafenib and Mcl-1 inhibitor or siRNA. Immunohistochemistry and western blot analyses demonstrated enhanced expression of Mcl-1 and activation of ERK1/2 in vemurafenib-resistant tumors whereas level of Mcl-1 or p-ERK1/2 was diminished in the tumors of mice treated with either of the combination. Biopsied tumors from the patients treated with or resistant to BRAF inhibitors revealed overexpression of Mcl-1. These results suggest that the combination of BRAF inhibitors with Mcl-1 inhibitor may have therapeutic advantage to melanoma patients with acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitors alone or in combination with MEK1/2 inhibitors.
Project description:The clinical use of BRAF inhibitors is being hampered by the acquisition of drug resistance. This study shows the potential therapeutic use of the HSP90 inhibitor (XL888) in six different models of vemurafenib resistance.The ability of XL888 to inhibit growth and to induce apoptosis and tumor regression of vemurafenib-resistant melanoma cell lines was shown in vitro and in vivo. A novel mass spectrometry-based pharmacodynamic assay was developed to measure intratumoral HSP70 levels following HSP90 inhibition in melanoma cell lines, xenografts, and melanoma biopsies. Mechanistic studies were carried out to determine the mechanism of XL888-induced apoptosis.XL888 potently inhibited cell growth, induced apoptosis, and prevented the growth of vemurafenib-resistant melanoma cell lines in 3-dimensional cell culture, long-term colony formation assays, and human melanoma mouse xenografts. The reversal of the resistance phenotype was associated with the degradation of PDGFR?, COT, IGFR1, CRAF, ARAF, S6, cyclin D1, and AKT, which in turn led to the nuclear accumulation of FOXO3a, an increase in BIM (Bcl-2 interacting mediator of cell death) expression, and the downregulation of Mcl-1. In most resistance models, XL888 treatment increased BIM expression, decreased Mcl-1 expression, and induced apoptosis more effectively than dual mitogen-activated protein-extracellular signal-regulated kinase/phosphoinositide 3-kinase (MEK/PI3K) inhibition.HSP90 inhibition may be a highly effective strategy at managing the diverse array of resistance mechanisms being reported to BRAF inhibitors and appears to be more effective at restoring BIM expression and downregulating Mcl-1 expression than combined MEK/PI3K inhibitor therapy.
Project description:Mutational activation of BRAF is the most prevalent genetic alteration in human melanoma, with??50% of tumours expressing the BRAF(V600E) oncoprotein. Moreover, the marked tumour regression and improved survival of late-stage BRAF-mutated melanoma patients in response to treatment with vemurafenib demonstrates the essential role of oncogenic BRAF in melanoma maintenance. However, as most patients relapse with lethal drug-resistant disease, understanding and preventing mechanism(s) of resistance is critical to providing improved therapy. Here we investigate the cause and consequences of vemurafenib resistance using two independently derived primary human melanoma xenograft models in which drug resistance is selected by continuous vemurafenib administration. In one of these models, resistant tumours show continued dependency on BRAF(V600E)?MEK?ERK signalling owing to elevated BRAF(V600E) expression. Most importantly, we demonstrate that vemurafenib-resistant melanomas become drug dependent for their continued proliferation, such that cessation of drug administration leads to regression of established drug-resistant tumours. We further demonstrate that a discontinuous dosing strategy, which exploits the fitness disadvantage displayed by drug-resistant cells in the absence of the drug, forestalls the onset of lethal drug-resistant disease. These data highlight the concept that drug-resistant cells may also display drug dependency, such that altered dosing may prevent the emergence of lethal drug resistance. Such observations may contribute to sustaining the durability of the vemurafenib response with the ultimate goal of curative therapy for the subset of melanoma patients with BRAF mutations.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are attractive therapeutic targets for various therapy-resistant tumors. However, the association between miRNA and BRAF inhibitor resistance in melanoma remains to be elucidated. We used microarray analysis to comprehensively study the miRNA expression profiling of vemurafenib resistant (VemR) A375 melanoma cells in relation to parental A375 melanoma cells. MicroRNA-7 (miR-7) was identified to be the most significantly down-regulated miRNA in VemR A375 melanoma cells. We also found that miR-7 was down-regulated in Mel-CVR cells (vemurafenib resistant Mel-CV melanoma cells). Reestablishment of miR-7 expression could reverse the resistance of both cells to vemurafenib. We showed that epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) and CRAF were over-expressed in VemR A375 melanoma cells. Introduction of miR-7 mimics could markedly decrease the expressions of EGFR, IGF-1R and CRAF and further suppressed the activation of MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathway in VemR A375 melanoma cells. Furthermore, tumor growth was inhibited in an in vivo murine VemR A375 melanoma tumor model transfected with miR-7 mimics. Collectively, our study demonstrated that miR-7 could reverse the resistance to BRAF inhibitors in certain vemurafenib resistant melanoma cell lines. It could advance the field and provide the basis for further studies in BRAF inhibitor resistance in melanoma.
Project description:The clinical outcomes of malignant melanoma have improved with the introduction of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitors. However, off-target toxicities of the MEK inhibitor trametinib (TMB) often result in dose interruption and discontinuation of therapy. The purpose of this study was to anchor a physically stable EphrinA1-mimicking peptide known as YSA (YSAYPDSVPMMS) on TMB-loaded PEGylated nanoliposomes (YTPLs), and evaluate them in BRAFV600E-mutated parent cells (lines A375 and SK-MEL-28) and vemurafenib-resistant cells lines (A375R and SK-MEL-28R) in melanoma. TMB-loaded PEGylated liposomes (TPL) functionalized with nickel-chelated phospholipids were prepared using a modified hydration method. The hydrodynamic diameter and zeta potential values of optimized YTPL were 91.20 ± 12.16 nm and -0.92 ± 3.27 mV, respectively. The drug release study showed TPL did not leak or burst release in 24 h. The hemolysis observed was negligible at therapeutic concentrations of TMB. A differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) study confirmed that TMB was retained in a solubilized state within lipid bilayers. YTPL showed higher intracellular uptake in parental cell lines compared to vemurafenib-resistant cell lines. Western blot analysis and a cytotoxicity study with the EphA2 inhibitor confirmed a reduction in EphA2 expression in resistant cell lines. Thus, EphA2 receptor-targeted nanoliposomes can be useful for metastatic melanoma-specific delivery of TMB.
Project description:Background:Neoplastic cells promote a hypercoagulable state by the expression of cell surface proteins, such as tissue factor. In BRAFv600 mutated melanoma patients upon BRAF inhibitors, a hypercoagulable state correlates with prognosis, while a down-regulation of the hemostatic parameters is observed in patients responders as compared to non responders. The present study was intended to better clarify the strict relationship between coagulation mediators and target therapy in melanoma. Methods:The expression of tissue factor was investigated after the treatment with the BRAF inhibitor Dabrafenib and the MEK inhibitor Trametinib in the BRAFv600e mutated melanoma cell lines A-375 and SK-MEL-28, together with its ability to activate the coagulation cascade. Results:Dabrafenib and Trametinib caused the down-regulation of TF in both cell lines A-375 and SK-MEL-28. For the cell line A-375 the effect was evident both at RNA and procoagulant activity; for the cell line SK-MEL-28 only at RNA level without any variation of the protein. Interestingly, when in contact with plasma deficient of factor VII, both cell lines were not able to activate the coagulation cascade. Conclusions:The present study provides the first in vitro observation that tissue factor expressed in melanoma cells may contribute to the modulation of the coagulation state of patients in the treatment with BRAF inhibitors.
Project description:Targeted therapies specific to the BRAF-MEK-ERK signaling pathway have shown great promise in the treatment of malignant melanoma in the last few years, with these drugs now commonly used in clinic. Melanoma cells treated using these agents are known to exhibit increased levels of melanin pigment and tyrosinase activity. In this study we assessed the potential of non-invasive imaging approaches (photoacoustic imaging (PAI) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) to detect melanin induction in SKMEL28 human melanoma cells, following inhibition of Hsp90 and BRAF signaling using 17-AAG and vemurafenib, respectively. We confirmed, using western blot and spectrophotometry, that Hsp90 or BRAF inhibitor-induced melanoma cell differentiation resulted in an upregulation of tyrosinase and melanin expression levels, in comparison to control cells. This post-treatment increase in cellular pigmentation induced a significant increase in PAI signals that are spectrally identifiable and shortening of the MRI relaxation times T 1 and [Formula: see text]. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the potential of MRI and PAI for detecting the downstream cellular changes induced by Hsp90 and BRAF-MEK-targeted therapies in melanoma cells with potential significance for in vivo imaging.