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Cancer Res. 2019 Oct 1;79(19):5074-5087. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-0244. Epub 2019 Aug 15.

Src-Dependent DBL Family Members Drive Resistance to Vemurafenib in Human Melanoma.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
2
Department of Biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
3
Department of Biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. adam-dupuy@uiowa.edu christopher-stipp@uiowa.edu.
4
Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
5
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. adam-dupuy@uiowa.edu christopher-stipp@uiowa.edu.

Abstract

The use of selective BRAF inhibitors (BRAFi) has produced remarkable outcomes for patients with advanced cutaneous melanoma harboring a BRAFV600E mutation. Unfortunately, the majority of patients eventually develop drug-resistant disease. We employed a genetic screening approach to identify gain-of-function mechanisms of BRAFi resistance in two independent melanoma cell lines. Our screens identified both known and unappreciated drivers of BRAFi resistance, including multiple members of the DBL family. Mechanistic studies identified a DBL/RAC1/PAK signaling axis capable of driving resistance to both current and next-generation BRAFis. However, we show that the SRC inhibitor, saracatinib, can block the DBL-driven resistance. Our work highlights the utility of our straightforward genetic screening method in identifying new drug combinations to combat acquired BRAFi resistance. SIGNIFICANCE: A simple, rapid, and flexible genetic screening approach identifies genes that drive resistance to MAPK inhibitors when overexpressed in human melanoma cells.

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