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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Jan;51(1):421-9. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-3974. Epub 2009 Aug 6.

The PI3K/Akt and mTOR/P70S6K signaling pathways in human uveal melanoma cells: interaction with B-Raf/ERK.

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Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.



Activated B-Raf alone cannot induce melanoma but must cooperate with other signaling pathways. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/p70S6K pathways are critical for tumorigenesis. The authors investigated the role of these pathways in uveal melanoma cells.


The effects of PI3K and mTOR activation and inhibition on the proliferation of human uveal melanoma cell lines expressing either activated (WT)B-Raf or (V600E)B-Raf were investigated. Interactions among PI3K, mTOR, and B-Raf/ERK were studied.


Inhibition of PI3K deactivated P70S6 kinase, reduced cell proliferation by 71% to 84%, and increased apoptosis by a factor of 5.0 to 8.4 without reducing ERK1/2 activation, indicating that ERK plays no role in mediating PI3K in these processes. In contrast, rapamycin-induced inhibition of mTOR did not significantly affect cell proliferation because it simultaneously stimulated PI3K/Akt activation and cyclin D1 expression. Regardless of B-Raf mutation status, cotreatment with the PI3K inhibitor effectively sensitized all melanoma cell lines to the B-Raf or ERK1/2 inhibition-induced reduction of cell proliferation. B-Raf/ERK and PI3K signaling, but not mTOR signaling, converged to control cyclin D1 expression. Moreover, p70S6K required the activation of ERK1/2. These data demonstrate that PI3K/Akt and mTOR/P70S6K interact with B-Raf/ERK.


Activated PI3K/Akt attenuates the inhibitory effects of rapamycin on cell proliferation and thus serves as a negative feedback mechanism. This finding suggests that rapamycin is unlikely to inhibit uveal melanoma growth. In contrast, targeting PI3K while inhibiting B-Raf/ERK may be a promising approach to reduce the proliferation of uveal melanoma cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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