Malignant melanoma is an aggressive tumor of the skin and seems to be resistant to current therapeutic approaches. Melanocytic transformation is thought to occur by sequential accu- mulation of genetic and molecular alterations able to activate the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK (MAPK) and/or the PI3K/AKT (AKT) signalling pathways. Specifically, mutations of B-RAF activate MAPK pathway resulting in cell cycle progression and apoptosis prevention. According to these findings, MAPK and AKT pathways may represent promising therapeutic targets for an otherwise devastating disease.
Here we show a computational model able to simulate the main biochemical and metabolic interactions in the PI3K/AKT and MAPK pathways potentially involved in melanoma devel- opment. Overall, this computational approach may accelerate the drug discovery process and encourages the identification of novel pathway activators with consequent develop- ment of novel antioncogenic compounds to overcome tumor cell resistance to conventional therapeutic agents. The source code of the various versions of the model are available as S1 Archive.||en_US