An epitranscriptomic mechanism underlies selective mRNA translation remodelling in melanoma persister cells

Nom de la revue
Nature Communications
Shensi Shen, Sara Faouzi, Amandine Bastide, Sylvain Martineau, Hélène Malka-Mahieu, Yu Fu, Xiaoxiao Sun, Christine Mateus, Emilie Routier, Severine Roy, Laurent Desaubry, Fabrice André, Alexander Eggermont, Alexandre David, Jean-Yves Scoazec, Stéphan Vagner, Caroline Robert

AbstractCancer persister cells tolerate anticancer drugs and serve as the founders of acquired resistance and cancer relapse. Here we show that a subpopulation of BRAFV600 mutant melanoma cells that tolerates exposure to BRAF and MEK inhibitors undergoes a reversible remodelling of mRNA translation that evolves in parallel with drug sensitivity. Although this process is associated with a global reduction in protein synthesis, a subset of mRNAs undergoes an increased efficiency in translation. Inhibiting the eIF4A RNA helicase, a component of the eIF4F translation initiation complex, abrogates this selectively increased translation and is lethal to persister cells. Translation remodelling in persister cells coincides with an increased N6-methyladenosine modification in the 5′-untranslated region of some highly translated mRNAs. Combination of eIF4A inhibitor with BRAF and MEK inhibitors effectively inhibits the emergence of persister cells and may represent a new therapeutic strategy to prevent acquired drug resistance.