RAF inhibitors prime wild-type RAF to activate the MAPK pathway and enhance growth

Georgia Hatzivassiliou, Kyung Song, Ivana Yen, Barbara J Brandhuber, Daniel J Anderson, Ryan Alvarado, Mary J C Ludlam, David Stokoe, Susan L Gloor, Guy Vigers, Tony Morales, Ignacio Aliagas, Bonnie Liu, Steve Sideris, Klaus P Hoeflich, Bijay S Jaiswal, Somasekar Seshagiri, Hartmut Koeppen, Marcia Belvin, Lori S Friedman, Shiva Malek
Nature 2010 March 18, 464 (7287): 431-5
Activating mutations in KRAS and BRAF are found in more than 30% of all human tumours and 40% of melanoma, respectively, thus targeting this pathway could have broad therapeutic effects. Small molecule ATP-competitive RAF kinase inhibitors have potent antitumour effects on mutant BRAF(V600E) tumours but, in contrast to mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitors, are not potent against RAS mutant tumour models, despite RAF functioning as a key effector downstream of RAS and upstream of MEK. Here we show that ATP-competitive RAF inhibitors have two opposing mechanisms of action depending on the cellular context. In BRAF(V600E) tumours, RAF inhibitors effectively block the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathway and decrease tumour growth. Notably, in KRAS mutant and RAS/RAF wild-type tumours, RAF inhibitors activate the RAF-MEK-ERK pathway in a RAS-dependent manner, thus enhancing tumour growth in some xenograft models. Inhibitor binding activates wild-type RAF isoforms by inducing dimerization, membrane localization and interaction with RAS-GTP. These events occur independently of kinase inhibition and are, instead, linked to direct conformational effects of inhibitors on the RAF kinase domain. On the basis of these findings, we demonstrate that ATP-competitive kinase inhibitors can have opposing functions as inhibitors or activators of signalling pathways, depending on the cellular context. Furthermore, this work provides new insights into the therapeutic use of ATP-competitive RAF inhibitors.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"