Platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (CD31) redistributes from the endothelial junction and is not required for the transendothelial migration of melanoma cells.
ABSTRACT We have examined the role of platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1/CD31) during the transendothelial migration of melanoma cells using a novel in vitro system. Comparable studies have suggested the involvement of PECAM-1 in leukocyte transendothelial migration. Such studies have been confirmed using in vivo models of inflammation. These studies prompted us to examine the role of PECAM-1 in tumor cell transendothelial migration. Anti-PECAM-1 monoclonal antibodies, known to block leukocyte transendothelial migration, were tested in co-cultures of human melanoma cells seeded on a monolayer of human lung microvascular endothelial cells. None of these antibodies inhibited the transmigration of melanoma cells. Moreover, confocal microscopy revealed the dissolution of the PECAM-1 adhesion complexes in the endothelial junctions associated with melanoma cells and the lack of PECAM-1 in heterotypic contacts between transmigrating melanoma cells and adjacent endothelial cells. These data, therefore, indicate that PECAM-1 is not required for the transendothelial migration of melanoma cells.