Serine–threonine protein kinase B-RAF (BRAF)-mutated metastatic melanoma (MM) is a highly aggressive type of skin cancer. Treatment of MM patients using BRAF/MEK inhibitors (BRAFi/MEKi) eventually leads to drug resistance, limiting any clinical benefit. Herein, we demonstrated that the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-biosynthetic enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is a driving factor in BRAFi resistance development. Using stable and inducible NAMPT over-expression systems, we showed that forced NAMPT expression in MM BRAF-mutated cell lines led to increased energy production, MAPK activation, colony-formation capacity, and enhance tumorigenicity in vivo. Moreover, NAMPT over-expressing cells switched toward an invasive/mesenchymal phenotype, up-regulating expression of ZEB1 and TWIST, two transcription factors driving the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) process. Consistently, within the NAMPT-overexpressing cell line variants, we observed an increased percentage of a rare, drug-effluxing stem cell-like side population (SP) of cells, paralleled by up-regulation of ABCC1/MRP1 expression and CD133-positive cells. The direct correlation between NAMPT expression and gene set enrichments involving metastasis, invasiveness and mesenchymal/stemness properties were verified also in melanoma patients by analyzing The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) datasets. On the other hand, CRISPR/Cas9 full knock-out NAMPT BRAFi-resistant MM cells are not viable, while inducible partial silencing drastically reduces tumor growth and aggressiveness. Overall, this work revealed that NAMPT over-expression is both necessary and sufficient to recapitulate the BRAFi-resistant phenotype plasticity.

Nampt over-expression recapitulates the braf inhibitor resistant phenotype plasticity in melanoma

Audrito V.;Messana V. G.;Moiso E.;Vitale N.;Arruga F.;Brandimarte L.;Gaudino F.;Pellegrino E.;Vaisitti T.;Riganti C.;Piva R.;Deaglio S.
2020

Abstract

Serine–threonine protein kinase B-RAF (BRAF)-mutated metastatic melanoma (MM) is a highly aggressive type of skin cancer. Treatment of MM patients using BRAF/MEK inhibitors (BRAFi/MEKi) eventually leads to drug resistance, limiting any clinical benefit. Herein, we demonstrated that the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-biosynthetic enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is a driving factor in BRAFi resistance development. Using stable and inducible NAMPT over-expression systems, we showed that forced NAMPT expression in MM BRAF-mutated cell lines led to increased energy production, MAPK activation, colony-formation capacity, and enhance tumorigenicity in vivo. Moreover, NAMPT over-expressing cells switched toward an invasive/mesenchymal phenotype, up-regulating expression of ZEB1 and TWIST, two transcription factors driving the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) process. Consistently, within the NAMPT-overexpressing cell line variants, we observed an increased percentage of a rare, drug-effluxing stem cell-like side population (SP) of cells, paralleled by up-regulation of ABCC1/MRP1 expression and CD133-positive cells. The direct correlation between NAMPT expression and gene set enrichments involving metastasis, invasiveness and mesenchymal/stemness properties were verified also in melanoma patients by analyzing The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) datasets. On the other hand, CRISPR/Cas9 full knock-out NAMPT BRAFi-resistant MM cells are not viable, while inducible partial silencing drastically reduces tumor growth and aggressiveness. Overall, this work revealed that NAMPT over-expression is both necessary and sufficient to recapitulate the BRAFi-resistant phenotype plasticity.
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BRAF; BRAF inhibitors resistance; MAPK; Mesenchymal phenotype; Metabolic reprogramming; Metastatic melanoma; NAD; NAMPT; Oncogene; Stemness
Audrito V.; Messana V.G.; Moiso E.; Vitale N.; Arruga F.; Brandimarte L.; Gaudino F.; Pellegrino E.; Vaisitti T.; Riganti C.; Piva R.; Deaglio S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1766319
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