The RUNX1/IL-34/CSF-1R axis is an autocrinally regulated modulator of resistance to BRAF-V600E inhibition in melanoma.
ABSTRACT: Resistance to current therapies still impacts a significant number of melanoma patients and can be regulated by epigenetic alterations. Analysis of global cytosine methylation in a cohort of primary melanomas revealed a pattern of early demethylation associated with overexpression of oncogenic transcripts. Loss of methylation and associated overexpression of the CSF 1 receptor (CSF1R) was seen in a majority of tumors and was driven by an alternative, endogenous viral promoter in a subset of samples. CSF1R was particularly elevated in melanomas with BRAF and other MAPK activating mutations. Furthermore, rebound ERK activation after BRAF inhibition was associated with RUNX1-mediated further upregulation of CSF-1R and its ligand IL-34. Importantly, increased CSF-1R and IL-34 overexpression were detected in an independent cohort of resistant melanomas. Inhibition of CSF-1R kinase or decreased CSF-1R expression by RNAi reduced 3-D growth and invasiveness of melanoma cells. Coinhibition of CSF-1R and BRAF resulted in synergistic efficacy in vivo. To our knowledge, our data unveil a previously unknown role for the autocrine-regulated CSF-1R in BRAF V600E resistance and provide a preclinical rationale for targeting this pathway in melanoma.
Project description:The CSF-1 receptor (CSF-1R) regulates CNS microglial development. However, the localization and developmental roles of this receptor and its ligands, IL-34 and CSF-1, in the brain are poorly understood. Here we show that compared to wild type mice, CSF-1R-deficient (Csf1r-/-) mice have smaller brains of greater mass. They further exhibit an expansion of lateral ventricle size, an atrophy of the olfactory bulb and a failure of midline crossing of callosal axons. In brain, IL-34 exhibited a broader regional expression than CSF-1, mostly without overlap. Expression of IL-34, CSF-1 and the CSF-1R were maximal during early postnatal development. However, in contrast to the expression of its ligands, CSF-1R expression was very low in adult brain. Postnatal neocortical expression showed that CSF-1 was expressed in layer VI, whereas IL-34 was expressed in the meninges and layers II-V. The broader expression of IL-34 is consistent with its previously implicated role in microglial development. The differential expression of CSF-1R ligands, with respect to CSF-1R expression, could reflect their CSF-1R-independent signaling. Csf1r-/- mice displayed increased proliferation and apoptosis of neocortical progenitors and reduced differentiation of specific excitatory neuronal subtypes. Indeed, addition of CSF-1 or IL-34 to microglia-free, CSF-1R-expressing dorsal forebrain clonal cultures, suppressed progenitor self-renewal and enhanced neuronal differentiation. Consistent with a neural developmental role for the CSF-1R, ablation of the Csf1r gene in Nestin-positive neural progenitors led to a smaller brain size, an expanded neural progenitor pool and elevated cellular apoptosis in cortical forebrain. Thus our results also indicate novel roles for the CSF-1R in the regulation of corticogenesis.
Project description:BRAF is an attractive target for melanoma drug development. However, resistance to BRAF inhibitors is a significant clinical challenge. We describe a model of resistance to BRAF inhibitors developed by chronic treatment of BRAF(V)???(E) melanoma cells with the BRAF inhibitor SB-590885; these cells are cross-resistant to other BRAF-selective inhibitors. Resistance involves flexible switching among the three RAF isoforms, underscoring the ability of melanoma cells to adapt to pharmacological challenges. IGF-1R/PI3K signaling was enhanced in resistant melanomas, and combined treatment with IGF-1R/PI3K and MEK inhibitors induced death of BRAF inhibitor-resistant cells. Increased IGF-1R and pAKT levels in a post-relapse human tumor sample are consistent with a role for IGF-1R/PI3K-dependent survival in the development of resistance to BRAF inhibitors.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Malignant melanoma is an aggressive tumor type that often develops drug resistance to targeted therapeutics. The production of colony stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1) in tumors recruits myeloid cells such as M2-polarized macrophages and myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC), leading to an immune suppressive tumor milieu. METHODS:We used the syngeneic mouse model of BRAF (V600E) -driven melanoma SM1, which secretes CSF-1, to evaluate the ability of the CSF-1 receptor (CSF-1R) inhibitor PLX3397 to improve the antitumor efficacy of the oncogenic BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib. RESULTS:Combined BRAF and CSF-1R inhibition resulted in superior antitumor responses compared with either therapy alone. In mice receiving PLX3397 treatment, a dramatic reduction of tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells (TIM) was observed. In this model, we could not detect a direct effect of TIMs or pro-survival cytokines produced by TIMs that could confer resistance to PLX4032 (vemurafenib). However, the macrophage inhibitory effects of PLX3397 treatment in combination with the paradoxical activation of wild type BRAF-expressing immune cells mediated by PLX4032 resulted in more tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). Depletion of CD8+ T-cells abrogated the antitumor response to the combination therapy. Furthermore, TILs isolated from SM1 tumors treated with PLX3397 and PLX4032 displayed higher immune potentiating activity. CONCLUSIONS:The combination of BRAF-targeted therapy with CSF-1R blockade resulted in increased CD8 T-cell responses in the SM1 melanoma model, supporting the ongoing evaluation of this therapeutic combination in patients with BRAF (V600) mutant metastatic melanoma.
Project description:Differential intestinal expression of the macrophage growth factors colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1), interleukin (IL)-34, and their shared CSF-1 receptor (CSF-1R) in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been shown. Diverse expression between CSF-1 and IL-34, suggest that IL-34 may signal via an alternate receptor. Receptor-type protein-tyrosine phosphatase ? (PTPRZ1, RPTP-?), an additional IL-34 receptor, was recently identified. Here, we aimed to assess PTPRZ1 expression in IBD and non-IBD intestinal biopsies. Further, we aimed to investigate cellular PTPRZ1 and CSF-1R expression, and cytokine- and chemokine responses by IL-34 and CSF-1. The expression of PTPRZ1 was higher in non-IBD colon compared to ileum. PTPRZ1 expression was not altered with inflammation in IBD, however, correlated to IL34, CSF1, and CSF1R. The expression patterns of PTPRZ1 and CSF-1R differed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), monocytes, macrophages, and intestinal epithelial cell line. PBMCs and monocytes of the same donors responded differently to IL-34 and CSF-1 with altered expression of tumor-necrosis factor ? (TNF-?), IL-1?, interferon ? (IFN-?), IL-13, IL-8, and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) levels. This study shows that PTPRZ1 was expressed in bowel tissue. Furthermore, CSF-1R protein was detected in an intestinal epithelial cell line and donor dependently in primary PBMCs, monocytes, and macrophages, and first hints also suggest an expression in these cells for PTPRZ1, which may mediate IL-34 and CSF-1 actions.
Project description:Malignant melanomas often harbor activating mutations in BRAF (V600E) or, less frequently, in NRAS (Q61R). Intriguingly, the same mutations have been detected at higher incidences in benign nevi, which are largely composed of senescent melanocytes. Overexpression of BRAF(V600E) or NRAS(Q61R) in human melanocytes in vitro has been shown to induce senescence, although via different mechanisms. How oncogene-induced senescence is overcome during melanoma progression remains unclear. Here, we report that in the majority of analysed BRAF(V600E)- or NRAS(Q61R)-expressing melanoma cells, C-MYC depletion induced different yet overlapping sets of senescence phenotypes that are characteristic of normal melanocytes undergoing senescence due to overexpression of BRAF(V600E) or NRAS(Q61R), respectively. These senescence phenotypes were p16(INK4A)- or p53-independent, however, several of them were suppressed by genetic or pharmacological inhibition of BRAF(V600E) or phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathways, including rapamycin-mediated inhibition of mTOR-raptor in NRAS(Q61R)-expressing melanoma cells. Reciprocally, overexpression of C-MYC in normal melanocytes suppressed BRAF(V600E)-induced senescence more efficiently than NRAS(Q61R)-induced senescence, which agrees with the generally higher rates of activating mutations in BRAF than NRAS gene in human cutaneous melanomas. Our data suggest that one of the major functions of C-MYC overexpression in melanoma progression is to continuous suppress BRAF(V600E)- or NRAS(Q61R)-dependent senescence programs.
Project description:Although melanomas with mutant v-Raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) can now be effectively targeted, there is no molecular target for most melanomas expressing wild-type BRAF. Here, we show that the activation of Pleckstrin homology domain-interacting protein (PHIP), promotes melanoma metastasis, can be used to classify a subset of primary melanomas, and is a prognostic biomarker for melanoma. Systemic, plasmid-based shRNA targeting of Phip inhibited the metastatic progression of melanoma, whereas stable suppression of Phip in melanoma cell lines suppressed metastatic potential and prolonged the survival of tumor-bearing mice. The human PHIP gene resides on 6q14.1, and although 6q loss has been observed in melanoma, the PHIP locus was preserved in melanoma cell lines and patient samples, and its overexpression was an independent adverse predictor of survival in melanoma patients. In addition, a high proportion of PHIP-overexpressing melanomas harbored increased PHIP copy number. PHIP-overexpressing melanomas include tumors with wild-type BRAF, neuroblastoma RAS viral (v-ras) oncogene homolog, and phosphatase and tensin homolog, demonstrating PHIP activation in triple-negative melanoma. These results describe previously unreported roles for PHIP in predicting and promoting melanoma metastasis, and in the molecular classification of melanoma.
Project description:The colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) receptor (CSF-1R) directly regulates the development of Paneth cells (PC) and influences proliferation and cell fate in the small intestine (SI). In the present study, we have examined the role of CSF-1 and the CSF-1R in the large intestine, which lacks PC, in the steady state and in response to acute inflammation induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). As previously shown in mouse, immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of CSF-1R expression showed that the receptor is baso-laterally expressed on epithelial cells of human colonic crypts, indicating that this expression pattern is shared between species. Colons from Csf1r null and Csf1(op/op) mice were isolated and sectioned for IHC identification of enterocytes, enteroendocrine cells, goblet cells and proliferating cells. Both Csf1r(-/-) and Csf1(op/op) mice were found to have colon defects in enterocytes and enteroendocrine cell fate, with excessive goblet cell staining and reduced cell proliferation. In addition, the gene expression profiles of the cell cycle genes, cyclinD1, c-myc, c-fos, and c-myb were suppressed in Csf1r(-/-) colonic crypt, compared with those of WT mice and the expression of the stem cell marker gene Lgr5 was markedly reduced. However, analysis of the proliferative responses of immortalized mouse colon epithelial cells (lines; Immorto-5 and YAMC) indicated that CSF-1R is not a major regulator of colonocyte proliferation and that its effects on proliferation are indirect. In an examination of the acute inflammatory response, Csf1r(+/-) male mice were protected from the adverse affects of DSS-induced colitis compared with WT mice, while Csf1r(+/-) female mice were significantly less protected. These data indicate that CSF-1R signaling plays an important role in colon homeostasis and stem cell gene expression but that the receptor exacerbates the response to inflammatory challenge in male mice.
Project description:DNA methylation studies have elucidated a methylation signature distinguishing primary melanomas from benign nevi and provided new insights about genes that may be important in melanoma development. However, it is unclear whether methylation differences among primary melanomas are related to tumor pathologic features with known clinical significance. We utilized the Illumina GoldenGate Cancer Panel array to investigate the methylation profiles of 47 primary cutaneous melanomas. Arraywide methylation patterns revealed a positive association of methylation with Breslow thickness and mutated BRAF, a negative association with mitotic rate, and a weak association with ulceration. Hierarchical clustering on CpG sites exhibiting the most variable methylation (n = 235) divided the melanoma samples into three clusters, including a highly methylated cluster that was positively associated with Breslow thickness and an intermediately methylated cluster associated with Breslow thickness and mitotic rate. Our findings provide support for the existence of methylation-defined subsets in melanomas with increased methylation associated with Breslow thickness.
Project description:With the aim to correlate BRAF mutation status with gene expression in human primary cutaneous melanomas, and thus to get more insight on the consequences of BRAF mutation on cell biology, we analyzed all expression data obtained in melanomas from which DNA was extracted from the same tissue slides that were used for the expression study. A cohort of 69 frozen primary melanoma whose oligonucleotide micro-array expression data were available, were genotyped for BRAF and NRAS genes. The expression data from these melanomas were re-analyzed according to BRAF mutational status. A set of 250 probes representing 209 genes that were significantly (raw P< or =0.001) associated with BRAF mutation status was identified and 17 of these were previously shown to be implicated in cutaneous melanoma progression or pigmentation pathway-associated genes driven by the microphthalmia transcription factor (MITF). The list of 34 top probes contained no more than 1% of false discoveries with a probability of 0.95. Among the genes that differentiated most strongly between BRAF mutated and non-mutated melanomas, there were those involved in melanoma immune response such as MAGE-D2, CD63, and HSP70. These findings support the immunogenicity of BRAF(V600E), eliciting patients T-cell responses in various in vitro assays. The genes whose expression is associated with BRAF mutations are not simply restricted to the MAPK/ERK signaling but also converge to enhanced immune responsiveness, cell motility and melanosomes processing involved in the adaptative UV response.
Project description:Although targeting oncogenic mutations in the BRAF serine/threonine kinase with small molecule inhibitors can lead to significant clinical responses in melanoma, it fails to eradicate tumors in nearly all patients. Successful therapy will be aided by identification of intrinsic mechanisms that protect tumor cells from death. Here, we used a bioinformatics approach to identify drug-able, "driver" oncogenes restricted to tumor versus normal tissues. Applying this method to 88 short-term melanoma cell cultures, we show that the antiapoptotic BCL2 family member BCL2A1 is recurrently amplified in ?30% of melanomas and is necessary for melanoma growth. BCL2A1 overexpression also promotes melanomagenesis of BRAF-immortalized melanocytes. We find that high-level expression of BCL2A1 is restricted to melanoma due to direct transcriptional control by the melanoma oncogene MITF. Although BRAF inhibitors lead to cell cycle arrest and modest apoptosis, we find that apoptosis is significantly enhanced by suppression of BCL2A1 in melanomas with BCL2A1 or MITF amplification. Moreover, we find that BCL2A1 expression is associated with poorer clinical responses to BRAF pathway inhibitors in melanoma patients. Cotreatment of melanomas with BRAF inhibitors and obatoclax, an inhibitor of BCL2A1 and other BCL2 family members, overcomes intrinsic resistance to BRAF inhibitors in BCL2A1-amplified cells in vitro and in vivo. These studies identify MITF-BCL2A1 as a lineage-specific oncogenic pathway in melanoma and underscore its role for improved response to BRAF-directed therapy.