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The Benefit of Reactivating p53 under MAPK Inhibition on the Efficacy of Radiotherapy in Melanoma.


ABSTRACT: Radiotherapy (RT) in patients with melanoma historically showed suboptimal results, because the disease is often radioresistant due to various mechanisms such as scavenging free radicals by thiols, pigmentary machinery, or enhanced DNA repair. However, radiotherapy has been utilized as adjuvant therapy after the complete excision of primary melanoma and lymph nodes to reduce the rate of nodal recurrences in high-risk patients. The resistance of melanoma cells to radiotherapy may also be in relation with the constitutive activation of the MAPK pathway and/or with the inactivation of p53 observed in about 90% of melanomas. In this study, we aimed to assess the potential benefit of adding RT to BRAF-mutated melanoma cells under a combined p53 reactivation and MAPK inhibition in vitro and in a preclinical animal model. We found that the combination of BRAF inhibition (vemurafenib, which completely shuts down the MAPK pathway), together with p53 reactivation (PRIMA-1Met) significantly enhanced the radiosensitivity of BRAF-mutant melanoma cells. This was accompanied by an increase in both p53 expression and activity. Of note, we found that radiation alone markedly promoted both ERK and AKT phosphorylation, thus contributing to radioresistance. The combination of vemurafenib and PRIMA-1Met caused the inactivation of both MAPK kinase and PI3K/AKT pathways. Furthermore, when combined with radiotherapy, it was able to significantly enhance melanoma cell radiosensitivity. Interestingly, in nude mice bearing melanoma xenografts, the latter triple combination had not only a synergistic effect on tumor growth inhibition, but also a potent control on tumor regrowth in all animals after finishing the triple combination therapy. RT alone had only a weak effect. In conclusion, we provide a basis for a strategy that may overcome the radioresistance of BRAF-mutated melanoma cells to radiotherapy. Whether this will translate into a rational to use radiotherapy in the curative setting in BRAF-mutated melanoma patients deserves consideration.

SUBMITTER: Krayem M 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6721382 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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