Melanoma whole-exome sequencing identifies V600E B-RAF amplification-mediated acquired B-RAF inhibitor resistance

Hubing Shi, Gatien Moriceau, Xiangju Kong, Mi Kyung Lee, Hane Lee, Richard C. Koya, Charles Ng, Thinle Chodon, Richard A. Scolyer, Kimberly B. Dahlman, Jeffrey A. Sosman, Richard F. Kefford, Georgina V. Long, Stanley F. Nelson, Antoni Ribas, Roger S. Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

483 Scopus citations


The development of acquired drug resistance hampers the long-term success of B-RAF inhibitor therapy for melanoma patients. Here we show V600E B-RAF copy-number gain as a mechanism of acquired B-RAF inhibitor resistance in 4 out of 20 (20%) patients treated with B-RAF inhibitor. In cell lines, V600E B-RAF overexpression and knockdown conferred B-RAF inhibitor resistance and sensitivity, respectively. In V600E B-RAF amplification-driven (versus mutant N-RAS-driven) B-RAF inhibitor resistance, extracellular signal-regulated kinase reactivation is saturable, with higher doses of vemurafenib down-regulating phosho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase and re-sensitizing melanoma cells to B-RAF inhibitor. These two mechanisms of extracellular signal-regulated kinase reactivation are sensitive to the MEK1/2 inhibitor AZD6244/selumetinib or its combination with the B-RAF inhibitor vemurafenib. In contrast to mutant N-RAS-mediated V600E B-RAF bypass, which is sensitive to C-RAF knockdown, V600E B-RAF amplification-mediated resistance functions largely independently of C-RAF. Thus, alternative clinical strategies may potentially overcome distinct modes of extracellular signal-regulated kinase reactivation underlying acquired B-RAF inhibitor resistance in melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number724
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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