Deconvoluting mechanisms of acquired resistance to RAF inhibitors in BRAFV600E-Mutant Human Glioma

Karisa C. Schreck, Andrew Morin, Guisheng Zhao, Amy N. Allen, Patrick Flannery, Michael Glantz, Adam L. Green, Chris Jones, Kenneth L. Jones, Lindsay B. Kilburn, Kellie J. Nazemi, David Samuel, Bridget Sanford, David A. Solomon, Jiawan Wang, Christine A. Pratilas, Theodore Nicolaides, Jean M.Mulcahy Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Selective RAF-targeted therapy is effective in some patients with BRAFV600E-mutated glioma, though emergent and adaptive resistance occurs through ill-defined mechanisms. Experimental Design: Paired pre-/post- RAF inhibitor (RAFi)- treated glioma samples (N = 15) were obtained and queried for treatment-emergent genomic alterations using DNA and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). Functional validation of putative resistance mechanisms was performed using established and patient-derived BRAFV600E-mutant glioma cell lines. Results: Analysis of 15 tissue sample pairs identified 13 alterations conferring putative resistance were identified among nine paired samples (including mutations involving ERRFI1, BAP1, ANKHD1, and MAP2K1). We performed functional validation of mechanisms of resistance, including loss of NF1, PTEN, or CBL, in BRAFV600E-mutant glioma lines, and demonstrate they are capable of conferring resistance in vitro. Knockdown of CBL resulted in increased EGFR expression and phosphorylation, a possible mechanism for maintaining ERK signaling within the cell. Combination therapy with a MEKi or EGFR inhibitor was able to overcome resistance to BRAFi, in NF1 knockdown and CBL knockdown, respectively. Restoration of wild-type PTEN in B76 cells (PTEN-/-) restored sensitivity to BRAFi. We identified and validated CRAF upregulation as a mechanism of resistance in one resistant sample. RNA-seq analysis identified two emergent expression patterns in resistant samples, consistent with expression patterns of known glioma subtypes. Conclusions: Resistance mechanisms to BRAFi in glioma are varied and may predict effective precision combinations of targeted therapy, highlighting the importance of a personalized approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6197-6208
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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