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Melanoma Research:
doi: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000103
ORIGINAL ARTICLES: Basic research

Amuvatinib has cytotoxic effects against NRAS-mutant melanoma but not BRAF-mutant melanoma

Fedorenko, Inna V.a; Fang, Binb; Koomen, John M.b; Gibney, Geoffrey T.c; Smalley, Keiran S.M.a,c

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Abstract

Effective targeted therapy strategies are still lacking for the 15–20% of melanoma patients whose melanomas are driven by oncogenic NRAS. Here, we report on the NRAS-specific behavior of amuvatinib, a kinase inhibitor with activity against c-KIT, Axl, PDGFRα, and Rad51. An analysis of BRAF-mutant and NRAS-mutant melanoma cell lines showed the NRAS-mutant cohort to be enriched for targets of amuvatinib, including Axl, c-KIT, and the Axl ligand Gas6. Increasing concentrations of amuvatinib selectively inhibited the growth of NRAS-mutant, but not BRAF-mutant melanoma cell lines, an effect associated with induction of S-phase and G2/M-phase cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis. Mechanistically, amuvatinib was noted to either inhibit Axl, AKT, and MAPK signaling or Axl and AKT signaling and to induce a DNA damage response. In three-dimensional cell culture experiments, amuvatinib was cytotoxic against NRAS-mutant melanoma cell lines. Thus, we show for the first time that amuvatinib has proapoptotic activity against melanoma cell lines, with selectivity observed for those harboring oncogenic NRAS.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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