Expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), which is critical for melanoma progression, is inhibited by both transcription factor GLI2 and transforming growth factor-β.
ABSTRACT The melanocyte-specific transcription factor M-MITF is involved in numerous aspects of melanoblast lineage biology including pigmentation, survival, and migration. It plays complex roles at all stages of melanoma progression and metastasis. We established previously that GLI2, a Kruppel-like transcription factor that acts downstream of Hedgehog signaling, is a direct transcriptional target of the TGF-β/SMAD pathway and contributes to melanoma progression, exerting antagonistic activities against M-MITF to control melanoma cell invasiveness. Herein, we dissected the molecular mechanisms underlying both TGF-β and GLI2-driven M-MITF gene repression. Using transient cell transfection experiments with M-MITF promoter constructs, chromatin immunoprecipitation, site-directed mutagenesis, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays, we identified a GLI2 binding site within the -334/-296 region of the M-MITF promoter, critical for GLI2-driven transcriptional repression. This region is, however, not needed for inhibition of M-MITF promoter activity by TGF-β. We determined that TGF-β rapidly repressed protein kinase A activity, thus reducing both phospho-cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) levels and CREB-dependent transcription of the M-MITF promoter. Increased GLI2 binding to its cognate cis-element, associated with reduced CREB-dependent transcription, allowed maximal inhibition of the M-MITF promoter via two distinct mechanisms.
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ABSTRACT: The diversity of functional phenotypes observed within a tumor does not exclusively result from intratumoral genetic heterogeneity but also from the response of cancer cells to the microenvironment. We have previously demonstrated that the morphological and functional phenotypes of melanoma can be dynamically altered upon external stimuli. In the present study, transcriptome profiles were generated to explore the molecules governing phenotypes of melanospheres grown in the bFGF(+)EGF(+) serum-free cultures and monolayers maintained in the serum-containing medium. Higher expression levels of MITF-dependent genes that are responsible for differentiation, e.g., TYR and MLANA, and stemness-related genes, e.g., ALDH1A1, were detected in melanospheres. These results were supported by the observation that the melanospheres contained more pigmented cells and cells exerting the self-renewal capacity than the monolayers. In addition, the expression of the anti-apoptotic, MITF-dependent genes e.g., BCL2A1 was also higher in the melanospheres. The enhanced activity of MITF in melanospheres, as illustrated by the increased expression of 74 MITF-dependent genes, identified MITF as a central transcriptional regulator in melanospheres. Importantly, several genes including MITF-dependent ones were expressed in melanospheres and original tumors at similar levels. The reduced MITF level in monolayers might be partially explained by suppression of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, and DKK1, a secreted inhibitor of this pathway, was highly up-regulated in monolayers in comparison to melanospheres and original tumors. Furthermore, the silencing of DKK1 in monolayers increased the percentage of cells with self-renewing capacity. Our study indicates that melanospheres can be used to unravel the molecular pathways that sustain intratumoral phenotypic heterogeneity. Melanospheres directly derived from tumor specimens more accurately mirrored the morphology and gene expression profiles of the original tumors compared to monolayers. Therefore, melanospheres represent a relevant preclinical tool to study new anticancer treatment strategies.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e95157. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In melanoma cells, high expression of the transcription factor GLI2 is associated with increased invasive potential and loss of E-cadherin expression, an event reminiscent of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Herein, we provide evidence that GLI2 represses E-cadherin gene (CDH1) expression in melanoma cells via distinct mechanisms, enhancing transcription of the EMT-activator ZEB1 and cooperative repression of CDH1 gene transcription via direct binding of both GLI2 and ZEB1 to two closely positioned KLF-binding sites within the CDH1 promoter. GLI2 silencing rescued CDH1 expression except in melanoma cell lines in which the CDH1 promoter was hypermethylated. Proximity ligation assays identified GLI2/ZEB1 complexes in melanoma cell nuclei, proportional to endogenous GLI2 and ZEB1 expression, and whose accumulation was enhanced by the classical EMT inducer TGF-β. These data identify GLI2 as a critical modulator of the cadherin switch in melanoma, a molecular process that is critical for metastatic spread of the disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research 07/2013; · 5.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) is a transcription factor that is expressed in limited types of cells, including osteoclasts, but the expression and role of MITF during osteoclastogenesis have not been fully elucidated. The expression of the MITF-E isoform but not that of the MITF-A isoform was induced in response to differentiation stimulation towards osteoclasts by receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) in both RAW264.7 cells and primary bone marrow cells. The RANKL-induced formation of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive multinucleated cells was inhibited in RAW264.7 cells expressing siRNA for MITF-E. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) enhanced RANKL-induced MITF-E expression and -TRAP positive multinucleated cell formation. In particular, TGF-β potentiated the formation of larger osteoclasts. The expression levels of NFATc1, TRAP and CtsK, genes related to osteoclast development and activity, were concurrently enhanced by TGF-β in the presence of RANKL. Furthermore, the expression of dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein (DC-STAMP), Itgav, Itga2, Itga5, Itgb1, Itgb3 and Itgb5, genes related to cell adhesion and fusion, were up-regulated by co-treatment with TGF-β. In particular, the regulatory expression of Itgav and Itgb5 in response to RANKL with or without TGF-β resembled that of MITF-E. Because MITF is involved in cell fusion in some cell systems, these results imply a role for MITF-E as an enhancer of osteoclastogenesis and that RANKL-induced levels of both MITF-E mRNA and of MITF-dependent gene expression are enhanced by treatment with TGF-β. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Cell Biochemistry and Function 02/2014; · 1.85 Impact Factor