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  • Autocrine Signaling of NRP1 Ligand Galectin-1 Elicits Resistance to BRAF-Targeted Therapy in Melanoma Cells.

Autocrine Signaling of NRP1 Ligand Galectin-1 Elicits Resistance to BRAF-Targeted Therapy in Melanoma Cells.

Cancers (2020-08-14)
Sabrina Rizzolio, Simona Corso, Silvia Giordano, Luca Tamagnone
ABSTRACT

Melanoma cells addicted to mutated BRAF oncogene activity can be targeted by specific kinase inhibitors until they develop resistance to therapy. We observed that the expression of Galectin-1 (Gal-1), a soluble ligand of Neuropilin-1 (NRP1), is upregulated in melanoma tumor samples and melanoma cells resistant to BRAF-targeted therapy. We then demonstrated that Gal-1 is a novel driver of resistance to BRAF inhibitors in melanoma and that its activity is linked to the concomitant upregulation of the NRP1 receptor observed in drug-resistant cells. Mechanistically, Gal-1 sustains increased expression of NRP1 and EGFR in drug-resistant melanoma cells. Moreover, consistent with its role as a NRP1 ligand, Gal-1 negatively controls p27 levels, a mechanism previously found to enable EGFR upregulation in cancer cells. Finally, the combined treatment with a Gal-1 inhibitor and a NRP1 blocking drug enabled resistant melanoma cell resensitization to BRAF-targeted therapy. In summary, we found that the activation of Galectin-1/NRP1 autocrine signaling is a new mechanism conferring independence from BRAF kinase activity to oncogene-addicted melanoma cells.

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