The Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway has been identified as a major, druggable regulator of melanoma. Mutational activation of BRAF is the most prevalent genetic alteration in human melanoma, resulting in constitutive melanoma hyperproliferation. A selective BRAF inhibitor showed remarkable clinical activity in patients with mutated BRAF. Unfortunately, most patients acquire resistance to the BRAF inhibitor, highlighting the urgent need for new melanoma treatment strategies. Green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG) inhibits cell proliferation independently of BRAF inhibitor sensitivity, suggesting that increased understanding of the anti-melanoma activity of EGCG may provide a novel therapeutic target. Here, by performing functional genetic screening, we identified protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) as a critical factor in the suppression of melanoma cell proliferation. We demonstrated that tumor-overexpressed 67-kDa laminin receptor (67LR) activates PP2A through adenylate cyclase/cAMP pathway eliciting inhibitions of oncoproteins and activation of tumor suppressor Merlin. Activating 67LR/PP2A pathway leading to melanomaspecific mTOR inhibition shows strong synergy with the BRAF inhibitor PLX4720 in the drug-resistant melanoma. Moreover, SET, a potent inhibitor of PP2A, is overexpressed on malignant melanoma. Silencing of SET enhances 67LR/PP2A signaling. Collectively, activation of 67LR/PP2A signaling may thus be a novel rational strategy for melanoma-specific treatment.
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