67kDa-laminin receptor-dependent PP2A activation elicits melanoma-specific antitumor activity overcoming drug resistance [Cell Biology]

October 7th, 2014 by Tsukamoto, S., Huang, Y., Umeda, D., Yamada, S., Yamashita, S., Kumazoe, M., Kim, Y., Murata, M., Yamada, K., Tachibana, H.

The Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway has been identified as a major, druggable regulator of melanoma. Mutational activation of BRAF is the most prevalent genetic alteration in human melanoma, resulting in constitutive melanoma hyperproliferation. A selective BRAF inhibitor showed remarkable clinical activity in patients with mutated-BRAF. Unfortunately, most patients acquire resistance to the BRAF inhibitor, highlighting the urgent need for new melanoma treatment strategies. Green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG) inhibits cell proliferation independently of BRAF inhibitor sensitivity, suggesting that increased understanding of the anti-melanoma activity of EGCG may provide a novel therapeutic target. Here, by performing functional genetic screening, we identified protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) as a critical factor in the suppression of melanoma cell proliferation. We demonstrated that tumor-overexpressed 67-kDa laminin receptor (67LR) activates PP2A through adenylate cyclase/cAMP pathway eliciting inhibitions of oncoproteins and activation of tumor suppressor Merlin. Activating 67LR/PP2A pathway leading to melanoma-specific mTOR inhibition shows strong synergy with the BRAF inhibitor PLX4720 in the drug-resistant melanoma. Moreover, SET, a potent inhibitor of PP2A, is overexpressed on malignant melanoma. Silencing of SET enhances 67LR/PP2A signaling. Collectively, activation of 67LR/PP2A signaling may thus be a novel rational strategy for melanoma-specific treatment.