Mutation in the BRAF gene (BRAFV600E) exists in nearly 70% of human melanomas. Targeted therapy against BRAFV600E kinase using a recently identified RAF-selective inhibitor, PLX4032, has been successful in early clinical trials. However, in patients with the normal BRAF allele (wild-type), PLX4032 is protumorigenic. This conundrum identifies the unmet need for novel therapeutic agents to target BRAFV600E kinase that are not counterproductive. Wehave identified gossypin, a pentahydroxy flavone, as a potent antimelanoma agent. Gossypin inhibited human melanoma cell proliferation, in vitro, in melanoma cell lines that harbor both BRAFV600E kinase and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) as well as in cells with BRAF wild-type allele. Gossypin inhibited kinase activities of BRAFV600E and CDK4, in vitro, possibly through direct binding of gossypin with these kinases, as confirmed by molecular docking studies. For cells harboring the BRAFV600E, gossypin inhibited cell proliferation through abrogation of the MEK-ERK-cyclin D1 pathway and in cells with BRAF wild-type allele, through attenuation of the retinoblastoma-cyclin D1 pathway. Furthermore, gossypin significantly inhibited melanoma growth in an organotypic three-dimensional skin culture mimicking human skin. Gossypin (10 and 100 mg/kg) treatment for 10 days in human melanoma (A375) cell xenograft tumors harboring BRAFV600E significantly reduced tumor volume through induction of apoptosis and increased survival rate in mice, and the effect was significantly superior to that of PLX4032 (10 mg/kg) or roscovitine 10 mg/kg. In summary, this study identified gossypin as a novel agent with dual inhibitory effects for BRAFV600E kinase and CDK4 for treatment of melanoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research