MEK nuclear localization promotes YAP stability via sequestering β-TrCP in KRAS mutant cancer cells.
Cell Death Differ. 2019 Mar 4. doi: 10.1038/s41418-019-0309-6.
Tumours manage to survive the ablation of mutant KRAS, despite the development of KRAS-targeted drugs. Here we describe that inhibition of mutant KRAS promotes MEK nuclear localization as an alternative mechanism of KRAS-targeted drugs resistance. Tissue microarray analysis in colon tumours shows that aberrant MEK nuclear localization is closely related to YAP levels and tumour malignancy. MEK nuclear localization could sequester β-TrCP from cytoplasmic inactive YAP, then stabilizing YAP. Mutant KRAS restrains MEK within the cytoplasm via IQGAP1, inhibiting MEK nuclear translocation. Trametinib, an allosteric MEK inhibitor, could prevent MEK nuclear localization and subsequently promote YAP degradation. In vitro and in vivo results suggests that inhibition of MEK nuclear localization by trametinib synergizes with KRAS knockdown or deltarasin treatment in suppressing the viability of KRAS mutant colon cancer cells. Our study provides new insights into the mechanisms of resistance to KRAS ablation, and suggests novel strategies for the treatment of KRAS-mutant colon cancers.