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Uveal melanoma (UM) is a rare cancer arising from melanocytes in the uveal tract of the eye. Despite effective primary treatment, there is no approved therapy for metastatic UM and prognosis and survival remain poor. Over 90% of UM are driven by mutations affecting the Gα subunits encoded by the GNAQ and GNA11 genes. These mutations activate downstream and targetable signaling pathways, including the protein kinase C (PKC) cascade. PKC inhibitors have been used in clinical trials for metastatic UM but have shown limited efficacy. In this study, we examined the signaling and functional effects of two PKC inhibitors (AEB071 and IDE196) in a panel of UM cell models. In response to PKC inhibition, all UM cell lines showed potent suppression of PKC activity, but this was not sufficient to predict PKC inhibitor sensitivity and only two UM cell lines showed substantial PKC inhibitor-induced cell death. The differences in UM cell responses to PKC inhibition were not attributable to the degree or timing of PKC suppression or inhibition of the downstream mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) or phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) pathways. Instead, UM cell show complex, PKC-independent signaling pathways that contribute to their survival and resistance to targeted therapies.
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Kefford, R., Thompson, J., Hersey, P., Mann, G., Scolyer, R., Hayward, N. & Long, G.
1/01/16 → …
1/01/17 → 31/12/20