MiR-7 reverses the resistance to BRAFi in melanoma by targeting EGFR/IGF-1R/CRAF and inhibiting the MAPK and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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: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:Approximately 75% of melanomas have known driver oncogenic mutations in BRAF, NRAS, GNA11 or GNAQ, while the mutations providing constitutive oncogenic signaling in the remaining melanomas are not known. We established a melanoma cell line from a tumor with none of the common driver mutations. This cell line demonstrated a signaling profile similar to BRAF-mutants, but lacked sensitivity to the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib. RNA-seq mutation data implicated CRAF R391W as the alternative driver mutation of this melanoma. CRAF R391W was homozygous and over expressed. These melanoma cells were highly sensitive to CRAF, but not BRAF knockdown. In reconstitution experiments, CRAF R391W, but not CRAF WT, transformed NIH3T3 cells in soft-agar colony formation assays, increased kinase activity in vitro, induced MAP kinase signaling and conferred vemurafenib resistance. MAP kinase inducing activity was dependent on CRAF dimerization. Thus, CRAF is a bona fide alternative oncogene for BRAF/NRAS/GNAQ/GNA11 wild type melanomas.
Project description:Despite significant development of melanoma therapies, death rates remain high. MicroRNAs, controlling posttranscriptionally gene expression, play role in development of resistance to BRAF inhibitors. The aim of the study was to assess the role of miR-410-3p in response to vemurafenib-BRAF inhibitor. FFPE tissue samples of 12 primary nodular melanomas were analyzed. With the use of Laser Capture Microdissection, parts of tumor, transient tissue, and adjacent healthy tissue were separated. In vitro experiments were conducted on human melanoma cell lines A375, G361, and SK-MEL1. IC50s of vemurafenib were determined using MTT method. Cells were transfected with miR-410-3p mimic, anti-miR-410-3p and their non-targeting controls. ER stress was induced by thapsigargin. Expression of isolated RNA was determined using qRT-PCR. We have found miR-410-3p is downregulated in melanoma tissues. Its expression is induced by vemurafenib in melanoma cells. Upregulation of miR-410-3p level increased melanoma cells resistance to vemurafenib, while its inhibition led to the decrease of resistance. Induction of ER stress increased the level of miR-410-3p. miR-410-3p upregulated the expression of AXL in vitro and correlated with markers of invasive phenotype in starBase. The study shows a novel mechanism of melanoma resistance. miR-410-3p is induced by vemurafenib in melanoma cells via ER stress. It drives switching to the invasive phenotype that leads to the response and resistance to BRAF inhibition.
Project description:Melanoma is a type of malignant tumor derived from melanocytes, most of which occur in the skin, and a few occur in the mucosa and choroid. BRAF mutations occur in approximately 50% of melanoma patients. Vemurafenib is a specific and potent BRAF inhibitor that significantly prolongs progression-free survival in patients with BRAF mutant melanoma. But most patients have tumor recurrence after 7-9 months. Drug resistance severely limits the long-term clinical effects of targeted drugs. To explore the mechanism of melanoma resistance to Vemurafenib, the transcripts of Vemurafenib-resistant melanoma A375R cells and the parental A375 cells were sequenced. For more insight please see Transcripts 202 and 205 of IL-6 confer resistance to Vemurafenib by reactivating the MAPK pathway in BRAF(V600E) mutant melanoma cells . RNA-seq data has been uploaded to Sequence Read Archive (SRA), which allows researchers to obtain RNA sequence data for these cells.
Project description:BRAF(V600E)-inhibitors (BRAFi; e.g., vemurafenib) and modern immune-based therapies such as PD-1/PD-L1 and CTLA-4 checkpoints blockade and adoptive cell transfer (ACT) have significantly improved the care of melanoma patients. Having these two effective (BRAFi and immunotherapy) therapies raises the question whether there is a rational biological basis for using them in combination. We developed an in vitro model to determine whether tumor resistance mechanisms to a small molecule inhibitor of a driver oncogene, and to cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)- and natural killer (NK) cell-delivered apoptotic death signals were exclusive or intersecting. We generated melanoma sublines resistant to BRAFi vemurafenib and to CTL recognizing the MART-1 melanoma antigen. Vemurafenib-resistant (VemR) sublines were cross-resistant to MART CTL and NK cells indicating that a common apoptotic pathway governing tumor response to both modalities was disrupted. Pretreatment of VemR melanomas with a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) restored sensitivity to MART CTL and NK apoptosis by skewing the apoptotic gene programs towards a proapoptotic phenotype. Our in vitro findings suggest that during the course of acquisition of BRAFi resistance, melanomas develop cross-resistance to CTL- and NK-killing. Further, aberrant apoptotic pathways, amenable by an FDA-approved chromatin remodeling drug, regulate tumor resistance mechanisms to immune effector cells. These results may provide rational molecular basis for further investigations to combine these therapies clinically.
Project description:The BRAF inhibitor, vemurafenib, has recently been approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma in patients harboring BRAFV600 mutations. Currently, dual BRAF and MEK inhibition are ongoing in clinical trials with the goal of overcoming the acquired resistance that has unfortunately developed in some vemurafenib patients. FDG-PET measures of metabolic activity are increasingly employed as a pharmacodynamic biomarker for guiding single-agent or combination therapies by gauging initial drug response and monitoring disease progression. However, since tumors are inherently heterogeneous, investigating the effects of BRAF and MEK inhibition on FDG uptake in a panel of different melanomas could help interpret imaging outcomes.18 F-FDG uptake was measured in vitro in cells with wild-type and mutant (V600) BRAF, and in melanoma cells with an acquired resistance to vemurafenib. We treated the cells with vemurafenib alone or in combination with MEK inhibitor GDC-0973. PET imaging was used in mice to measure FDG uptake in A375 melanoma xenografts and in A375 R1, a vemurafenib-resistant derivative. Histological and biochemical studies of glucose transporters, the MAPK and glycolytic pathways were also undertaken.We demonstrate that vemurafenib is equally effective at reducing FDG uptake in cell lines harboring either heterozygous or homozygous BRAFV600 but ineffective in cells with acquired resistance or having WT BRAF status. However, combination with GDC-0973 results in a highly significant increase of efficacy and inhibition of FDG uptake across all twenty lines. Drug-induced changes in FDG uptake were associated with altered levels of membrane GLUT-1, and cell lines harboring RAS mutations displayed enhanced FDG uptake upon exposure to vemurafenib. Interestingly, we found that vemurafenib treatment in mice bearing drug-resistant A375 xenografts also induced increased FDG tumor uptake, accompanied by increases in Hif-1α, Sp1 and Ksr protein levels. Vemurafenib and GDC-0973 combination efficacy was associated with decreased levels of hexokinase II, c-RAF, Ksr and p-MEK protein.We have demonstrated that 18 F-FDG-PET imaging reflects vemurafenib and GDC-0973 action across a wide range of metastatic melanomas. A delayed post-treatment increase in tumor FDG uptake should be considered carefully as it may well be an indication of acquired drug resistance.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01271803.
Project description:Cutaneous malignant melanoma is among the deadliest human cancers, broadly resistant to most clinical therapies. A majority of patients with BRAFV600E melanomas respond well to inhibitors such as vemurafenib, but all ultimately relapse. Moreover, there are no viable treatment options available for other non-BRAF melanoma subtypes in the clinic. A key to improving treatment options lies in a better understanding of mechanisms underlying melanoma progression, which are complex and heterogeneous.In this study we integrated gene and microRNA (miRNA) expression data from genetically engineered mouse models of highly and poorly malignant melanocytic tumors, as well as available human melanoma databases, and discovered an important role for a pathway centered on a tumor suppressor miRNA, miR-32.Malignant tumors frequently exhibited poor expression of miR-32, whose targets include NRAS, PI3K and notably, MCL-1. Accordingly, MCL-1 was often highly expressed in melanomas, and when knocked down diminished oncogenic potential. Forced MCL-1 overexpression transformed immortalized primary mouse melanocytes, but only when also expressing activating mutations in BRAF, CRAF or PI3K. Importantly, both miR-32 replacement therapy and the MCL-1-specific antagonist sabutoclax demonstrated single-agent efficacy, and acted synergistically in combination with vemurafenib in preclinical melanoma models.We here identify miR-32/MCL-1 pathway members as key early genetic events driving melanoma progression, and suggest that their inhibition may be an effective anti-melanoma strategy irrespective of NRAS, BRAF, and PTEN status.