Int J Cancer 2017 06 17;140(12):2758-2770. Epub 2016 Nov 17.
2nd Department of Pathology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.
Oncogenic mutations of BRAF lead to constitutive ERK activity that supports melanoma cell growth and survival. While Ca signaling is a well-known regulator of tumor progression, the crosstalk between Ca signaling and the Ras-BRAF-MEK-ERK pathway is much less explored. Here we show that in BRAF mutant melanoma cells the abundance of the plasma membrane Ca ATPase isoform 4b (PMCA4b, ATP2B4) is low at baseline but markedly elevated by treatment with the mutant BRAF specific inhibitor vemurafenib. In line with these findings gene expression microarray data also shows decreased PMCA4b expression in cutaneous melanoma when compared to benign nevi. The MEK inhibitor selumetinib-similarly to that of the BRAF-specific inhibitor-also increases PMCA4b levels in both BRAF and NRAS mutant melanoma cells suggesting that the MAPK pathway is involved in the regulation of PMCA4b expression. The increased abundance of PMCA4b in the plasma membrane enhances [Ca ] clearance from cells after Ca entry. Moreover we show that both vemurafenib treatment and PMCA4b overexpression induce marked inhibition of migration of BRAF mutant melanoma cells. Importantly, reduced migration of PMCA4b expressing BRAF mutant cells is associated with a marked decrease in their metastatic potential in vivo. Taken together, our data reveal an important crosstalk between Ca signaling and the MAPK pathway through the regulation of PMCA4b expression and suggest that PMCA4b is a previously unrecognized metastasis suppressor.