Mutationally-activated BRAF is detected in ~7% of human lung adenocarcinomas, with BRAFT1799A serving as a predictive biomarker for treatment of patients with FDA-approved inhibitors of BRAFV600E oncoprotein signaling. In genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models, expression of BRAFV600E in the lung epithelium initiates growth of benign lung tumors that, without additional genetic alterations, rarely progress to malignant lung adenocarcinoma. To identify genes that cooperate with BRAFV600E for malignant progression, we employed Sleeping Beauty-mediated transposon mutagenesis, which dramatically accelerated the emergence of lethal lung cancers. Amongst the genes identified was Rbms3, which encodes an RNA-binding protein previously implicated as a putative tumor suppressor. Silencing of RBMS3 via CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing promoted growth of BRAFV600E lung organoids and promoted development of malignant lung cancers with a distinct micropapillary architecture in BRAFV600E and EGFRL858R GEM models. BRAFV600E/RBMS3Null lung tumors displayed elevated expression Ctnnb1, Ccnd1, Axin2, Lgr5, and c-Myc mRNAs, suggesting that RBMS3 silencing elevates signaling through the WNT/β-catenin signaling axis. Although RBMS3 silencing rendered BRAFV600E-driven lung tumors resistant to the effects of dabrafenib plus trametinib, the tumors were sensitive to inhibition of Porcupine, an acyltransferase of WNT ligands necessary for their secretion. Analysis of TCGA patient samples revealed that chromosome 3P24, which harbors RBMS3, is frequently lost in NSCLC and correlates with poor prognosis. Collectively, these data reveal the role of RBMS3 as a lung cancer suppressor and suggest RBMS3 silencing may contribute to malignant progression.

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