BRAF V600 mutation influences cellular signaling pathways for melanoma development. However, the role of oncogenic BRAF in adaptive stress response pathways is not fully understood. Here, we show that oncogenic BRAF plays an essential role in the induction of ATF4 following the activation of general control non-derepressible 2 (GCN2) kinase during nutrient stress and BRAF-targeted, therapeutic stress. Under GCN2 activation, BRAF ensures ATF4 induction by utilizing mTOR and eIF4B as downstream regulators. In contrast to the MEK-ERK pathway, this signaling pathway remains temporarily active even during treatment with BRAF inhibitors, thereby enabling the transient induction of ATF4. We also identify a chemical compound that prevents BRAF inhibitor-induced activation of the GCN2-ATF4 pathway and produces synergistic cell killing with BRAF inhibitors. Our findings establish a collaborative relationship between oncogenic BRAF and the GCN2-ATF4 signaling pathway, which may provide a novel therapeutic approach to target the adaptive stress response.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.