A number of human melanomas show hyperactivation of the Ras pathway due to mutations of the molecule or alteration of upstream or downstream effectors. In this study, we evaluated the effect of blocking the two Ras downstream pathways phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt and Raf/ mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase on melanoma development and regression in the TPRas mouse model. The inhibition of these two signaling cascades by topically applied Ly294002 and U0126 significantly delayed melanoma development and significantly decreased the tumor incidence, particularly when the drugs were applied in combination. Treatment with the inhibitors of established melanomas resulted in complete remission in 33% of mice and partial regression in 46% of mice when drugs were delivered in combination. These responses correlated with increased apoptosis and decreased proliferation both in vitro and in vivo and reduced tumor angiogenesis. In conclusion, this study strongly supports the role of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt and Raf/mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathways in the development and maintenance of Ras-dependent melanomas and supports the notion that specific inhibition of these effectors may represent a very promising avenue for the treatment and prevention of the disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research