Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology
Cancer Biology | Cell Biology | Neoplasms
Melanoma accounts for more than 80% of skin cancer-related deaths, and current therapies provide only short-term benefit to patients. Here, we show in melanoma cells that maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase (MELK) is transcriptionally upregulated by the MAPK pathway via transcription factor E2F1. MELK knockdown or pharmacological inhibition blocked melanoma growth and enhanced the effectiveness of BRAFV600E inhibitor against melanoma cells. To identify mediators of MELK function, we performed stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) and identified 469 proteins that had downregulated phosphorylation after MELK inhibition. Of these proteins, 139 were previously reported as substrates of BRAF or MEK, demonstrating that MELK is an important downstream mediator of the MAPK pathway. Furthermore, we show that MELK promotes melanoma growth by activating NF-kappaB pathway activity via Sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1/p62). Altogether, these results underpin an important role for MELK in melanoma growth downstream of the MAPK pathway.
BRAF, MELK, NF-κB, SILAC, SQSTM1, melanoma
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Copyright 2017 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
DOI of Published Version
Cell Rep. 2017 Dec 5;21(10):2829-2841. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.11.033. Link to article on publisher's site
Janostiak R, Rauniyar N, Lam TT, Ou J, Zhu LJ, Green MR, Wajapeyee N. (2017). MELK Promotes Melanoma Growth by Stimulating the NF-kappaB Pathway. Open Access Articles. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2017.11.033. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/oapubs/3331
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.