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Mutation of the oncogene BRAF is among the most common genetic alterations in melanoma. BRAF inhibitors alone or in combination with MEK inhibitors fail to eradicate the tumor in most patients due to combinations of intrinsic or acquired resistance. Therefore, novel strategies are needed to improve the therapeutic efficacy of BRAF inhibition. We demonstrated that dinaciclib has potent anti-melanoma effects by inducing BAK-dependent apoptosis through MCL1 reduction. Contrary to dinaciclib, the inhibitors of BRAF / MEK / CDK4/6 induced apoptosis dominantly through a BAX-dependent mechanism. Although the combination of BRAF and MEK inhibitors did not exhibit additive anti-melanoma effects, their combination with dinaciclib synergistically inhibited melanoma growth both in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, our present findings suggest dinaciclib to be an effective complementary drug of BAX-dependent anti-melanoma drugs by targeting BAK-mediated apoptosis, and other such rational drug combinations can be determined by identifying complementary drugs activating either BAK or BAX.
PMID: 31744894 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]