Publication — IRIC
RSK regulates activated BRAF signalling to mTORC1 and promotes melanoma growth.
The Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling cascade regulates various biological functions, including cell growth, proliferation and survival. As such, this pathway is often deregulated in cancer, including melanomas, which frequently harbour activating mutations in the NRAS and BRAF oncogenes. Hyperactive MAPK signalling is known to promote protein synthesis, but the mechanisms by which this occurs remain poorly understood. Here, we show that expression of oncogenic forms of Ras and Raf promotes the constitutive activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Using pharmacological inhibitors and RNA interference, we find that the MAPK-activated protein kinase RSK (p90 ribosomal S6 kinase) is partly required for these effects. Using melanoma cell lines carrying activating BRAF mutations, we show that ERK/RSK signalling regulates assembly of the translation initiation complex and polysome formation, as well as the translation of growth-related messenger RNAs containing a 5′-terminal oligopyrimidine (TOP) motif. Accordingly, we find that RSK inhibition abrogates tumour growth in mice. Our findings indicate that RSK may be a valuable therapeutic target for the treatment of tumours characterized by deregulated MAPK signalling, such as melanoma.