Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Sep 15;15(18):5704-13. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-0198. Epub 2009 Sep 8.

C-Raf is associated with disease progression and cell proliferation in a subset of melanomas.

Author information

  • 1Yale Cancer Center and Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.



Raf-kinases include three major isoforms. Although the role of B-Raf in melanoma is well established, little is known about C-Raf. We studied effects of C-Raf knockdown in vitro and assessed expression of C-Raf in a large cohort of melanomas and nevi.


Using specific siRNAs, we knocked down C-Raf expression, and determined the effect on viability, MAP extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/ERK kinase signaling, and apoptosis in seven melanoma cell lines. We determined the IC(50) of the C-Raf inhibitors sorafenib and GW5074, and studied the effects of GW5074 on cell signaling. Using an automated method to measure in situ protein expression, we quantified C-Raf expression in 263 nevi and 523 melanomas.


C-Raf was knocked down in three cell lines with detectable phospho-C-Raf, resulting in decreased viability in two of the three (YULAC and YUROB). This resulted in decreased Bcl-2 expression and phospho-Bad cleavage, without affecting phospho-MEK and phospho-ERK. Sensitivity to sorafenib and GW5074 varied. GW5074 inhibited mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling without Bcl-2 and phospho-Bad down-regulation. C-Raf was highly expressed in melanomas compared with nevi (P < 0.0001), and no nevi had high C-Raf expression. C-Raf expression was higher in metastatic than primary specimens (P = 0.0225).


C-Raf siRNA knock-down results in decreased viability of YULAC (B-Raf(V600K)) and YUROB (B-Raf(WT)) melanoma cells, likely mediated by Bcl-2 inhibition rather than mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibition. Cotargeting C-Raf and parallel pathways might be an effective therapeutic approach for melanoma. C-Raf expression is up-regulated in a subset of melanomas but not in nevi, suggesting that it might be a valuable diagnostic marker and therapeutic target.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk