Purpose: Despite recent advances, approximately 50% of patient with metastatic melanoma eventually succumb to the disease. Patients with melanomas harboring a BRAF mutation (BRAFMut) have a worse prognosis than those with wildtype (BRAFWT) tumors. Unexpectedly, interim AVAST-M Phase III trial data reported benefit from adjuvant anti-VEGF bevacizumab only in the BRAFMut group. We sought to find mechanisms underpinning this sensitivity. Methods: We investigated this finding in vitro and in vivo using melanoma cell lines and clones generated by BRAFV600E knock-in on a BRAFWT background. Results: Compared with BRAFWT cells, isogenic BRAFV600E clones secreted more VEGF and exhibited accelerated growth rates as spheroids and xenografts, which were more vascular and proliferative. Recapitulating AVAST-M findings, bevacizumab affected only BRAFV600E xenografts, inducing significant tumor growth delay, reduced vascularity and increased necrosis. We identified 814 differentially expressed genes in isogenic BRAFV600E/BRAFWT clones. Of 61 genes concordantly deregulated in clinical melanomas ROR2 was one of the most upregulated by BRAFV600E. ROR2 was shown to be RAF-MEK regulated in BRAFV600E cells and its depletion suppressed VEGF secretion down to BRAFWT levels. The ROR2 ligand WNT5A was also overexpressed in BRAFMut melanomas, and in ROR2-overexpressing BRAFV600E cells MEK inhibition downregulated WNT5A and VEGF secretion. Conclusions: These data implicate WNT5A-ROR2 in VEGF secretion, vascularity, adverse outcomes and bevacizumab sensitivity of BRAFMut melanomas, suggesting that this axis has potential therapeutic relevance.

WNT5A-ROR2 axis mediates VEGF dependence of BRAF mutant melanoma

Buffa, Francesca M.
Investigation
;
2023

Abstract

Purpose: Despite recent advances, approximately 50% of patient with metastatic melanoma eventually succumb to the disease. Patients with melanomas harboring a BRAF mutation (BRAFMut) have a worse prognosis than those with wildtype (BRAFWT) tumors. Unexpectedly, interim AVAST-M Phase III trial data reported benefit from adjuvant anti-VEGF bevacizumab only in the BRAFMut group. We sought to find mechanisms underpinning this sensitivity. Methods: We investigated this finding in vitro and in vivo using melanoma cell lines and clones generated by BRAFV600E knock-in on a BRAFWT background. Results: Compared with BRAFWT cells, isogenic BRAFV600E clones secreted more VEGF and exhibited accelerated growth rates as spheroids and xenografts, which were more vascular and proliferative. Recapitulating AVAST-M findings, bevacizumab affected only BRAFV600E xenografts, inducing significant tumor growth delay, reduced vascularity and increased necrosis. We identified 814 differentially expressed genes in isogenic BRAFV600E/BRAFWT clones. Of 61 genes concordantly deregulated in clinical melanomas ROR2 was one of the most upregulated by BRAFV600E. ROR2 was shown to be RAF-MEK regulated in BRAFV600E cells and its depletion suppressed VEGF secretion down to BRAFWT levels. The ROR2 ligand WNT5A was also overexpressed in BRAFMut melanomas, and in ROR2-overexpressing BRAFV600E cells MEK inhibition downregulated WNT5A and VEGF secretion. Conclusions: These data implicate WNT5A-ROR2 in VEGF secretion, vascularity, adverse outcomes and bevacizumab sensitivity of BRAFMut melanomas, suggesting that this axis has potential therapeutic relevance.
2023
2022
Coupe, Nicholas; Guo, Lina; Bridges, Esther; Campo, Leticia; Espinosa, Olivia; Colling, Richard; Marshall, Andrea; Nandakumar, Ashwin; van Stiphout, Ruud; Buffa, Francesca M.; Corrie, Pippa G.; Middleton, Mark R.; Macaulay Valentine, M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4061234
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