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Proteomic identification of a marker signature for MAPKi resistance in melanoma


Abstract

MAPK inhibitors (MAPKi) show outstanding clinical response rates in melanoma patients harbouring BRAF mutations, but resistance is common. The ability of melanoma cells to switch from melanocytic to mesenchymal phenotypes appears to be associated with therapeutic resistance. High-throughput, subcellular proteome analyses and RNAseq on two panels of primary melanoma cells that were either sensitive or resistant to MAPKi revealed that only 15 proteins were sufficient to distinguish between these phenotypes. The two proteins with the highest discriminatory power were PTRF and IGFBP7, which were both highly upregulated in the mesenchymal-resistant cells. Proteomic analysis of CRISPR/Cas-derived PTRF knockouts revealed targets involved in lysosomal activation, endocytosis, pH regulation, EMT, TGFβ signalling and cell migration and adhesion, as well as a significantly reduced invasive index and ability to form spheres in 3D culture. Overexpression of PTRF led to MAPKi resistance, increased cell adhesion and sphere formation. In addition, immunohistochemistry of patient samples showed that PTRF expression levels were a significant biomarker of poor progression-free survival, and IGFBP7 levels in patient sera were shown to be higher after relapse.

Abstract

MAPK inhibitors (MAPKi) show outstanding clinical response rates in melanoma patients harbouring BRAF mutations, but resistance is common. The ability of melanoma cells to switch from melanocytic to mesenchymal phenotypes appears to be associated with therapeutic resistance. High-throughput, subcellular proteome analyses and RNAseq on two panels of primary melanoma cells that were either sensitive or resistant to MAPKi revealed that only 15 proteins were sufficient to distinguish between these phenotypes. The two proteins with the highest discriminatory power were PTRF and IGFBP7, which were both highly upregulated in the mesenchymal-resistant cells. Proteomic analysis of CRISPR/Cas-derived PTRF knockouts revealed targets involved in lysosomal activation, endocytosis, pH regulation, EMT, TGFβ signalling and cell migration and adhesion, as well as a significantly reduced invasive index and ability to form spheres in 3D culture. Overexpression of PTRF led to MAPKi resistance, increased cell adhesion and sphere formation. In addition, immunohistochemistry of patient samples showed that PTRF expression levels were a significant biomarker of poor progression-free survival, and IGFBP7 levels in patient sera were shown to be higher after relapse.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Dermatology Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 August 2019
Deposited On:09 Aug 2019 13:52
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:41
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0261-4189
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.201695874
PubMed ID:31267558

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