T. Sinnberg, E. Makino, M. Krueger, A. Velic, B. Macek, U. Rothbauer, N. Groll, O. Pötz, S. Czemmel, H. Niessner, F. Meier, K. Ikenberg, C. Garbe, B. Schittek
Acquired resistance to second generation BRAF inhibitors (BRAFis), like vemurafenib is limiting the benefits of long term targeted therapy for patients with malignant melanomas that harbor BRAF V600 mutations. Since many resistance mechanisms have been described, most of them causing a hyperactivation of the MAPK- or PI3K/AKT signaling pathways, one potential strategy to overcome BRAFi resistance in melanoma cells would be to target important common signaling nodes. Known factors that cause secondary resistance include the overexpression of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), alternative splicing of BRAF or the occurrence of novel mutations in MEK1 or NRAS. In this study we show that β-catenin is stabilized and translocated to the nucleus in approximately half of the melanomas that were analyzed and which developed secondary resistance towards BRAFi. We further demonstrate that β-catenin is involved in the mediation of resistance towards vemurafenib in vitro and in vivo . Unexpectedly, β-catenin acts mainly independent of the TCF/LEF dependent canonical Wnt-signaling pathway in resistance development, which partly explains previous contradictory results about the role of β-catenin in melanoma progression and therapy resistance. We further demonstrate that β-catenin interacts with Stat3 after chronic vemurafenib treatment and both together cooperate in the acquisition and maintenance of resistance towards BRAFi.
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Published on 06/04/17
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