American Association for Cancer Research
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Supplementary Figure 9 from Skin Tumorigenesis Stimulated by Raf Inhibitors Relies Upon Raf Functions That Are Dependent and Independent of ERK

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-30, 22:14 authored by Eszter Doma, Christian Rupp, Andrea Varga, Florian Kern, Bettina Riegler, Manuela Baccarini

PDF file - 98K, ERK‐dependent and -independent functions of Raf in Ras + Raf inhibitor‐induced tumorigenesis - a model.

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ARTICLE ABSTRACT

RAF inhibitors achieve unprecedented but mainly transient clinical responses in patients with melanoma whose tumors harbor an activating BRAF mutation. One notable side-effect of RAF inhibitors is the stimulation of cutaneous skin tumors, arising in about 30% of patients receiving these drugs, which are thought to develop as a result of inhibitor-induced activation of wild-type Raf in occult precursor skin lesions. This effect raises the possibility that less manageable tumors might also arise in other epithelial tissues. Here we provide preclinical evidence supporting this disquieting hypothesis by showing that the RAF inhibitors PLX-4032 (vemurafenib) and GDC-0879 precipitate the development of cell-autonomous, Ras-driven tumors in skin and gastric epithelia. The magnitude of the effects correlated with the inhibitors' relative abilities to induce ERK activation. Epidermis-restricted ablation of either B-Raf or C-Raf prevented PLX-4032–induced ERK activation and tumorigenesis. In contrast, GDC-0879 induced ERK activation and tumorigenesis in B-Raf–deficient epidermis, whereas C-Raf ablation blocked GDC-0879–induced tumorigenesis (despite strong ERK activation) by preventing Rokα–mediated keratinocyte dedifferentiation. Thus, inhibitor-induced ERK activation did not require a specific Raf kinase. ERK activation was necessary, but not sufficient for Ras + Raf inhibitor-induced tumorigenesis, whereas C-Raf downregulation of Rokα was essential even in the face of sustained ERK signaling to prevent differentiation and promote tumorigenesis. Taken together, our findings suggest that combination therapies targeting ERK-dependent and -independent functions of Raf may be more efficient but also safer for cancer treatment. Cancer Res; 73(23); 6926–37. ©2013 AACR.