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    Differential AKT dependency displayed by mouse models of BRAFV600E-initiated melanoma. Marsh Durban Victoria,Deuker Marian M,Bosenberg Marcus W,Phillips Wayne,McMahon Martin The Journal of clinical investigation Malignant melanoma is frequently driven by mutational activation of v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) accompanied by silencing of the phosphatase and tensin homology (PTEN) tumor suppressor. Despite the implied importance of PI3K signaling in PTENNull melanomas, mutational activation of the gene encoding the catalytic subunit of PI3Kα (PIK3CA), is rarely detected. Since PTEN has both PI3-lipid phosphatase-dependent and -independent tumor suppressor activities, we investigated the contribution of PI3K signaling to BRAFV600E-induced melanomagenesis using mouse models, cultured melanoma cells, and PI3K pathway-targeted inhibitors. These experiments revealed that mutationally activated PIK3CAH1047R cooperates with BRAFV600E for melanomagenesis in mice. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of PI3Ks prevented growth of BRAFV600E/PTENNull melanomas in vivo and in tissue culture. Combined inhibition of BRAFV600E and PI3K had more potent effects on the regression of established BRAFV600E/PTENNull melanomas and cultured melanoma cells than individual blockade of either pathway. Surprisingly, growth of BRAFV600E/PIK3CAH1047R melanomas was dependent on the protein kinase AKT; however, AKT inhibition had no effect on growth of BRAFV600E/PTENNull melanomas. These data indicate that PTEN silencing contributes a PI3K-dependent, but AKT-independent, function in melanomagenesis. Our findings enhance our knowledge of how BRAFV600E and PI3K signaling cooperate in melanomagenesis and provide preclinical validation for combined pathway-targeted inhibition of PI3K and BRAFV600E in the therapeutic management of BRAFV600E/PTENNull melanomas. 10.1172/JCI69619
    Exploiting Allosteric Properties of RAF and MEK Inhibitors to Target Therapy-Resistant Tumors Driven by Oncogenic BRAF Signaling. Adamopoulos Christos,Ahmed Tamer A,Tucker Maxwell R,Ung Peter M U,Xiao Min,Karoulia Zoi,Amabile Angelo,Wu Xuewei,Aaronson Stuart A,Ang Celina,Rebecca Vito W,Brown Brian D,Schlessinger Avner,Herlyn Meenhard,Wang Qi,Shaw David E,Poulikakos Poulikos I Cancer discovery Current clinical RAF inhibitors (RAFi) inhibit monomeric BRAF (mBRAF) but are less potent against dimeric BRAF (dBRAF). RAFi equipotent for mBRAF and dBRAF have been developed but are predicted to have lower therapeutic index. Here we identify a third class of RAFi that selectively inhibits dBRAF over mBRAF. Molecular dynamic simulations reveal restriction of the movement of the BRAF αC-helix as the basis of inhibitor selectivity. Combination of inhibitors based on their conformation selectivity (mBRAF- plus dBRAF-selective plus the most potent BRAF-MEK disruptor MEK inhibitor) promoted suppression of tumor growth in BRAF therapy-resistant models. Strikingly, the triple combination showed no toxicities, whereas dBRAF-selective plus MEK inhibitor treatment caused weight loss in mice. Finally, the triple combination achieved durable response and improved clinical well-being in a patient with stage IV colorectal cancer. Thus, exploiting allosteric properties of RAF and MEK inhibitors enables the design of effective and well-tolerated therapies for BRAF tumors. SIGNIFICANCE: This work identifies a new class of RAFi that are selective for dBRAF over mBRAF and determines the basis of their selectivity. A rationally designed combination of RAF and MEK inhibitors based on their conformation selectivity achieved increased efficacy and a high therapeutic index when used to target BRAF tumors... 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-1351