Oncogenic BRAF induces chronic ER stress condition resulting in increased basal autophagy and apoptotic resistance of cutaneous melanoma

M. Corazzari, F. Rapino, F. Ciccosanti, P. Giglio, M. Antonioli, B. Conti, G. M. Fimia, P. E. Lovat, M. Piacentini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The notorious unresponsiveness of metastatic cutaneous melanoma to current treatment strategies coupled with its increasing incidence constitutes a serious worldwide clinical problem. Moreover, despite recent advances in targeted therapies for patients with BRAF V600E mutant melanomas, acquired resistance remains a limiting factor and hence emphasises the acute need for comprehensive pre-clinical studies to increase the biological understanding of such tumours in order to develop novel effective and longlasting therapeutic strategies. Autophagy and ER stress both have a role in melanoma development/progression and chemoresistance although their real impact is still unclear. Here, we show that BRAF V600E induces a chronic ER stress status directly increasing basal cell autophagy. BRAF V600E -mediated p38 activation stimulates both the IRE1/ASK1/JNK and TRB3 pathways. Bcl-XL/Bcl-2 phosphorylation by active JNK releases Beclin1 whereas TRB3 inhibits the Akt/mTor axes, together resulting in an increase in basal autophagy. Furthermore, we demonstrate chemical chaperones relieve the BRAF V600E -mediated chronic ER stress status, consequently reducing basal autophagic activity and increasing the sensitivity of melanoma cells to apoptosis. Taken together, these results suggest enhanced basal autophagy, typically observed in BRAF V600E melanomas, is a consequence of a chronic ER stress status, which ultimately results in the chemoresistance of such tumours. Targeted therapies that attenuate ER stress may therefore represent a novel and more effective therapeutic strategy for BRAF mutant melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-958
Number of pages13
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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