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Kinase-dead BRAF and oncogenic RAS cooperate to drive tumor progression through CRAF.

We describe a mechanism of tumorigenesis mediated by kinase-dead BRAF in the presence of oncogenic RAS. We show that drugs that selectively inhibit BRAF drive RAS-dependent BRAF binding to CRAF, CRAF activation, and MEK-ERK signaling. This does not occur when oncogenic BRAF is inhibited, demonstrating that BRAF inhibition per se does not drive pathway activation; it only occurs when BRAF is inhibited in the presence of oncogenic RAS. Kinase-dead BRAF mimics the effects of the BRAF-selective drugs and kinase-dead Braf and oncogenic Ras cooperate to induce melanoma in mice. Our data reveal another paradigm of BRAF-mediated signaling that promotes tumor progression. They highlight the importance of understanding pathway signaling in clinical practice and of genotyping tumors prior to administering BRAF-selective drugs, to identify patients who are likely to respond and also to identify patients who may experience adverse effects.

Pubmed ID: 20141835


  • Heidorn SJ
  • Milagre C
  • Whittaker S
  • Nourry A
  • Niculescu-Duvas I
  • Dhomen N
  • Hussain J
  • Reis-Filho JS
  • Springer CJ
  • Pritchard C
  • Marais R



Publication Data

January 22, 2010

Associated Grants

  • Agency: Wellcome Trust, Id: 080333/Z/06/Z
  • Agency: Cancer Research UK, Id: 10433
  • Agency: Cancer Research UK, Id: 10437
  • Agency: Cancer Research UK, Id: 13083
  • Agency: Cancer Research UK, Id: C107/A10433

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Melanoma
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf
  • ras Proteins