The KEAP1-NRF2 pathway regulates cellular redox homeostasis by transcriptional induction of genes associated with antioxidant synthesis and detoxification in response to oxidative stress. Previously, we reported that KEAP1 mutation elicits constitutive NRF2 activation and resistance to cisplatin (CDDP) and dacarbazine (DTIC) in human melanomas. The present study was conducted to clarify whether an HSP90 inhibitor, 17-AAG, efficiently eliminates melanoma with KEAP1 mutation, as the NRF2 target gene, NQO1, is a key enzyme in 17-AAG bioactivation. In melanoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma cell lines with or without KEAP1 mutations, NQO1 expression and 17-AAG sensitivity are inversely correlated. NQO1 is highly expressed in normal melanocytes and in several melanoma cell lines despite the presence of wild-type KEAP1, and the NQO1 expression is dependent on NRF2 activation. Because either CDDP or DTIC produces reactive oxygen species that activate NRF2, we determined whether these agents would sensitize NQO1-low melanoma cells to 17-AAG. Synergistic cytotoxicity of the 17-AAG and CDDP combination was detected in four out of five NQO1-low cell lines, but not in the cell line with KEAP1 mutation. These data indicate that 17-AAG could be a potential chemotherapeutic agent for melanoma with KEAP1 mutation or NQO1 expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)