GLI2-Mediated Melanoma Invasion and Metastasis
ABSTRACT The transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) pathway, which has both tumor suppressor and pro-oncogenic activities, is often constitutively active in melanoma and is a marker of poor prognosis. Recently, we identified GLI2, a mediator of the hedgehog pathway, as a transcriptional target of TGF-beta signaling.
We used real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blotting to determine GLI2 expression in human melanoma cell lines and subsequently classified them as GLI2high or as GLI2low according to their relative GLI2 mRNA and protein expression levels. GLI2 expression was reduced in a GLI2high cell line with lentiviral expression of short hairpin RNA targeting GLI2. We assessed the role of GLI2 in melanoma cell invasiveness in Matrigel assays. We measured secretion of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 by gelatin zymography and expression of E-cadherin by western blotting and RT-PCR. The role of GLI2 in development of bone metastases was determined following intracardiac injection of melanoma cells in immunocompromised mice (n = 5-13). Human melanoma samples (n = 79) at various stages of disease progression were analyzed for GLI2 and E-cadherin expression by immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, or RT-PCR. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Among melanoma cell lines, increased GLI2 expression was associated with loss of E-cadherin expression and with increased capacity to invade Matrigel and to form bone metastases in mice (mean osteolytic tumor area: GLI2high vs GLI2low, 2.81 vs 0.93 mm(2), difference = 1.88 mm(2), 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.16 to 2.60, P < .001). Reduction of GLI2 expression in melanoma cells that had expressed high levels of GLI2 substantially inhibited both basal and TGF-beta-induced cell migration, invasion (mean number of Matrigel invading cells: shGLI2 vs shCtrl (control), 52.6 vs 100, difference = 47.4, 95% CI = 37.0 to 57.8, P = .024; for shGLI2 + TGF-beta vs shCtrl + TGF-beta, 31.0 vs 161.9, difference = -130.9, 95% CI = -96.2 to -165.5, P = .002), and MMP secretion in vitro and the development of experimental bone metastases in mice. Within human melanoma lesions, GLI2 expression was heterogeneous, associated with tumor regions in which E-cadherin was lost and increased in the most aggressive tumors.
GLI2 was directly involved in driving melanoma invasion and metastasis in this preclinical study.
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ABSTRACT: The transcription factor Sox9 was first discovered in patients with campomelic dysplasia, a haploinsufficiency disorder with skeletal deformities caused by dysregulation of Sox9 expression during chondrogenesis. Since then, its role as a cell fate determiner during embryonic development has been well characterized; Sox9 expression differentiates cells derived from all three germ layers into a large variety of specialized tissues and organs. However, recent data has shown that ectoderm- and endoderm-derived tissues continue to express Sox9 in mature organs and stem cell pools, suggesting its role in cell maintenance and specification during adult life. The versatility of Sox9 may be explained by a combination of post-transcriptional modifications, binding partners, and the tissue type in which it is expressed. Considering its importance during both development and adult life, it follows that dysregulation of Sox9 has been implicated in various congenital and acquired diseases, including fibrosis and cancer. This review provides a summary of the various roles of Sox9 in cell fate specification, stem cell biology, and related human diseases. Ultimately, understanding the mechanisms that regulate Sox9 will be crucial for developing effective therapies to treat disease caused by stem cell dysregulation or even reverse organ damage.12/2014; 1(2). DOI:10.1016/j.gendis.2014.09.004
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ABSTRACT: Compared to the overwhelming amount of literature describing how epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-inducing transcription factors orchestrate cellular plasticity in embryogenesis and epithelial cells, the functions of these factors in non-epithelial contexts, such as melanoma, are less clear. Melanoma is an aggressive tumor arising from melanocytes, endowed with unique features of cellular plasticity. The reversible phenotype-switching between differentiated and invasive phenotypes is increasingly appreciated as a mechanism accounting for heterogeneity in melanoma and is driven by oncogenic signaling and environmental cues. This phenotypic switch is coupled with an intriguing and somewhat counterintuitive signaling switch of EMT-inducing transcription factors. In contrast to carcinomas, different EMT-inducing transcription factors have antagonizing effects in melanoma. Balancing between these different EMT transcription factors is likely the key to successful metastatic spread of melanoma.Frontiers in Oncology 12/2014; 4:352. DOI:10.3389/fonc.2014.00352
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ABSTRACT: Metastatic occurrence is the principal cause of death in breast cancer patients. The high osteotropism makes breast cancer the most common primary tumor type associated with metastatic bone disease. The peculiar clinical aspects associated with metastases limited to the skeletal system suggest considering these cases as a distinctive subset of metastatic patients with a better prognosis. Because bone is frequently the first metastatic site in disease relapse, it is feasible that the next improvement in therapeutic options for bone metastatic disease could be associated with an improvement of survival expectation and quality of life in breast cancer patients. Study of the molecular basis of bone remodeling and breast cancer osteotropism has allowed identification of several therapeutic candidates involved in formation and progression of bone metastases. These targets are frequently the determinants of positive feedback between the tumor and bone cells whose clinical outcome is osteolytic lesions. In this review, we discuss the physiopathologic features underlying targeted therapeutic strategies aimed at interfering with the aberrant bone remodeling associated with breast cancer metastases.