Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common intraocular tumor in adults. Nearly half of UM patients develop metastatic disease and often succumb within months because effective therapy is lacking. A novel therapeutic approach has been suggested by the discovery that UM cell lines driven by mutant constitutively active Gq or G11 can be targeted by FR900359 (FR) or YM-254890, which are bioavailable, selective inhibitors of the Gq/11/14 subfamily of heterotrimeric G proteins. Here, we have addressed the therapeutic potential of FR for UM. We found that FR inhibited all oncogenic Gq/11 mutants reported in UM. FR arrested growth of all Gq/11-driven UM cell lines tested, but induced apoptosis only in a few. Similarly, FR inhibited growth of, but did not efficiently kill, UM tumor cells from biopsies of primary or metastatic tumors. FR evoked melanocytic redifferentiation of UM tumor cells with low (class 1), but not high (class 2), metastatic potential. FR administered systemically below its LD50 strongly inhibited growth of PDX-derived class 1 and class 2 UM tumors in mouse xenograft models and reduced blood pressure transiently. FR did not regress xenografted UM tumors or significantly affect heart rate, liver function, hematopoiesis, or behavior. These results indicated the existence of a therapeutic window in which FR can be explored for treating UM and potentially other diseases caused by constitutively active Gq/11.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100403
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


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