c-RAF Ablation Induces Regression of Advanced Kras/Trp53 Mutant Lung Adenocarcinomas by a Mechanism Independent of MAPK Signaling

Cancer Cell. 2018 Feb 12;33(2):217-228.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2017.12.014. Epub 2018 Jan 27.


A quarter of all solid tumors harbor KRAS oncogenes. Yet, no selective drugs have been approved to treat these malignancies. Genetic interrogation of the MAPK pathway revealed that systemic ablation of MEK or ERK kinases in adult mice prevent tumor development but are unacceptably toxic. Here, we demonstrate that ablation of c-RAF expression in advanced tumors driven by KrasG12V/Trp53 mutations leads to significant tumor regression with no detectable appearance of resistance mechanisms. Tumor regression results from massive apoptosis. Importantly, systemic abrogation of c-RAF expression does not inhibit canonical MAPK signaling, hence, resulting in limited toxicities. These results are of significant relevance for the design of therapeutic strategies to treat K-RAS mutant cancers.

Keywords: Kras oncogene; MAPK signaling; c-RAF; lung cancer; mouse models of cancer; therapy strategy; toxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Genes, ras / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases / metabolism
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf / metabolism*
  • ras Proteins / genetics*


  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • ras Proteins