[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The acquisition of the metastatic melanoma phenotype is associated with increased expression of the melanoma cell adhesion molecule MCAM/MUC18 (CD146). However, the mechanism by which MUC18 contributes to melanoma metastasis remains unclear. Herein, we stably silenced MUC18 expression in two metastatic melanoma cell lines, A375SM and C8161, and conducted cDNA microarray analysis. We identified and validated that the transcriptional regulator, inhibitor of DNA binding-1 (Id-1), previously shown to function as an oncogene in several malignancies, including melanoma, was downregulated by 5.6-fold following MUC18 silencing. Additionally, we found that MUC18 regulated Id-1 expression at the transcriptional level via ATF-3, which itself was upregulated by 6.9-fold in our cDNA microarray analysis. ChIP analysis showed increased binding of ATF-3 to the Id-1 promoter after MUC18 silencing. To complement these studies, we rescued the expression of MUC18, which reversed the expression patterns of Id-1 and ATF-3. Moreover, we showed that MUC18 promotes melanoma invasion through Id-1, as overexpression of Id-1 in MUC18-silenced cells resulted in increased MMP-2 expression and activity. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that MUC18 is involved in cell signaling regulating the expression of Id-1 and ATF-3, thus contributing to melanoma metastasis.
Cancer Research 04/2011; 71(10):3494-504. · 9.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The thrombin receptor protease activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) is overexpressed in metastatic melanoma cell lines and tumor specimens. Previously, we demonstrated a significant reduction in tumor growth and experimental lung metastasis after PAR-1 silencing via systemic delivery of siRNA encapsulated into nanoliposomes. Gene expression profiling identified a 40-fold increase in expression of Maspin in PAR-1-silenced metastatic melanoma cell lines. Maspin promoter activity was significantly increased after PAR-1 silencing, suggesting that PAR1 negatively regulates Maspin at the transcriptional level. ChIP analyses revealed that PAR-1 decreases binding of Ets-1 and c-Jun transcription factors to the Maspin promoter, both known to activate Maspin transcription. PAR-1 silencing did not affect Ets-1 or c-Jun expression; rather it resulted in increased expression of the chromatin remodeling complex CBP/p300, as well as decreased activity of the CBP/p300 inhibitor p38, resulting in increased binding of Ets-1 and c-Jun to the Maspin promoter and higher Maspin expression. Functionally, Maspin expression reduced the invasive capability of melanoma cells after PAR-1 silencing, which was abrogated after rescuing with PAR-1. Furthermore, tumor growth and experimental lung metastasis was significantly decreased after expressing Maspin in a metastatic melanoma cell line. Moreover, silencing Maspin in PAR-1-silenced cells reverted the inhibition of tumor growth and experimental lung metastasis. Herein, we demonstrate a mechanism by which PAR-1 negatively regulates the expression of the Maspin tumor-suppressor gene in the acquisition of the metastatic melanoma phenotype, thus attributing an alternative function to PAR-1 other than coagulation.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2011; 108(2):626-31. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The loss of AP-2alpha and increased activity of cAMP-responsive element binding (CREB) protein are two hallmarks of malignant progression of cutaneous melanoma. However, the molecular mechanism responsible for the loss of AP-2alpha during melanoma progression remains unknown.
Herein, we demonstrate that both inhibition of PKA-dependent CREB phosphorylation, as well as silencing of CREB expression by shRNA, restored AP-2alpha protein expression in two metastatic melanoma cell lines. Moreover, rescue of CREB expression in CREB-silenced cell lines downregulates expression of AP-2alpha. Loss of AP-2alpha expression in metastatic melanoma occurs via a dual mechanism involving binding of CREB to the AP-2alpha promoter and CREB-induced overexpression of another oncogenic transcription factor, E2F-1. Upregulation of AP-2alpha expression following CREB silencing increases endogenous p21(Waf1) and decreases MCAM/MUC18, both known to be downstream target genes of AP-2alpha involved in melanoma progression.
Since AP-2alpha regulates several genes associated with the metastatic potential of melanoma including c-KIT, VEGF, PAR-1, MCAM/MUC18, and p21(Waf1), our data identified CREB as a major regulator of the malignant melanoma phenotype.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(8):e12452. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cellular and molecular pathways that regulate platelet activation, blood coagulation, and inflammation are emerging as
critical players in cancer progression and metastasis. Here, we demonstrate a novel signaling mechanism whereby protease-activated
receptor 1 (PAR1) mediates expression of melanoma cell adhesion molecule MCAM/MUC18 (MUC18), a critical marker of melanoma
metastasis, via activation of platelet-activating factor receptor (PAFR) and cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB).
We found that PAR1 silencing with small hairpin RNA inhibits MUC18 expression in metastatic melanoma cells by inhibiting CREB
phosphorylation, activity, and binding to the MUC18 promoter. We further demonstrate that the PAF/PAFR pathway mediates MUC18
expression downstream of PAR1. Indeed, PAR1 silencing down-regulates PAFR expression and PAF production, PAFR silencing blocks
MUC18 expression, and re-expression of PAFR in PAR1-silenced cells rescues MUC18 expression. We further demonstrate that the
PAR1-PAFR-MUC18 pathway mediates melanoma cell adhesion to microvascular endothelial cells, transendothelial migration, and
metastatic retention in the lungs. Rescuing PAFR expression in PAR1-silenced cells fully restores metastatic phenotype of
melanoma, indicating that PAFR plays critical role in the molecular mechanism of PAR1 action. Our results link the two pro-inflammatory
G-protein-coupled receptors, PAR1 and PAFR, with the metastatic dissemination of melanoma and suggest that PAR1, PAFR, and
MUC18 are attractive therapeutic targets for preventing melanoma metastasis.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2009; 284(42):28845-28855. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) is a key player in melanoma metastasis with higher expression seen in metastatic melanoma cell lines and tissue specimens. cDNA microarray and Western blot analyses reveal that the gap junctional intracellular communication molecule connexin 43 (Cx-43), known to be involved in tumor cell diapedesis and attachment to endothelial cells, is significantly decreased after PAR-1 silencing in metastatic melanoma cell lines. Furthermore, Cx-43 promoter activity was significantly inhibited in PAR-1-silenced cells, suggesting that PAR-1 regulates Cx-43 at the transcriptional level. Chromatin immunoprecipitation studies showed a reduction in the binding of SP-1 and AP-1 transcription factors to the promoter of Cx-43. Both transcription factors have been shown previously to be required for maximal Cx-43 promoter activity. These results were corroborated by mutating the AP-1 and SP-1 binding sites resulting in decreased Cx-43 promoter activity in PAR-1-positive cells. Moreover, as Cx-43 has been shown to facilitate arrest of circulating tumor cells at the vascular endothelium, melanoma cell attachment to endothelial cells was significantly decreased in PAR-1-silenced cells, with this effect being abrogated after PAR-1 rescue. Herein, we report that up-regulation of PAR-1 expression, seen in melanoma progression, mediates high levels of Cx-43 expression. As both SP-1 and AP-1 transcription factors act as positive regulators of Cx-43, our data provide a novel mechanism for the regulation of Cx-43 expression by PAR-1. Indeed, Cx-43 expression was restored following PAR-1 rescue in PAR-1-silenced cells. Taken together, our data support the tumor promoting function of Cx-43 in melanoma.
Cancer Research 09/2009; 69(16):6730-7. · 9.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cellular and molecular pathways that regulate platelet activation, blood coagulation, and inflammation are emerging as critical players in cancer progression and metastasis. Here, we demonstrate a novel signaling mechanism whereby protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1) mediates expression of melanoma cell adhesion molecule MCAM/MUC18 (MUC18), a critical marker of melanoma metastasis, via activation of platelet-activating factor receptor (PAFR) and cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB). We found that PAR1 silencing with small hairpin RNA inhibits MUC18 expression in metastatic melanoma cells by inhibiting CREB phosphorylation, activity, and binding to the MUC18 promoter. We further demonstrate that the PAF/PAFR pathway mediates MUC18 expression downstream of PAR1. Indeed, PAR1 silencing down-regulates PAFR expression and PAF production, PAFR silencing blocks MUC18 expression, and re-expression of PAFR in PAR1-silenced cells rescues MUC18 expression. We further demonstrate that the PAR1-PAFR-MUC18 pathway mediates melanoma cell adhesion to microvascular endothelial cells, transendothelial migration, and metastatic retention in the lungs. Rescuing PAFR expression in PAR1-silenced cells fully restores metastatic phenotype of melanoma, indicating that PAFR plays critical role in the molecular mechanism of PAR1 action. Our results link the two pro-inflammatory G-protein-coupled receptors, PAR1 and PAFR, with the metastatic dissemination of melanoma and suggest that PAR1, PAFR, and MUC18 are attractive therapeutic targets for preventing melanoma metastasis.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2009; 284(42):28845-55. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metastatic progression of melanoma is associated with overexpression and activity of cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB). However, the mechanism by which CREB contributes to tumor progression and metastasis remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that stably silencing CREB expression in two human metastatic melanoma cell lines, A375SM and C8161-c9, suppresses tumor growth and experimental metastasis. Analysis of cDNA microarrays revealed that CREB silencing leads to increased expression of cysteine-rich protein 61 (CCN1/CYR61) known to mediate adhesion, chemostasis, survival, and angiogenesis. Promoter analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that CREB acts as a negative regulator of CCN1/CYR61 transcription by directly binding to its promoter. Re-expression of CREB in CREB-silenced cells rescued the low CCN1/CYR61 expression phenotype. CCN1/CYR61 overexpression resulted in reduced tumor growth and metastasis and inhibited the activity of matrix metalloproteinase-2. Furthermore, its overexpression decreased melanoma cell motility and invasion through Matrigel, which was abrogated by silencing CCN1/CYR61 in low metastatic melanoma cells. Moreover, a significant decrease in angiogenesis as well as an increase in apoptosis was seen in tumors overexpressing CCN1/CYR61. Our results demonstrate that CREB promotes melanoma growth and metastasis by down-regulating CCN1/CYR61 expression, which acts as a suppressor of melanoma cell motility, invasion and angiogenesis.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2009; 284(38):26194-206. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metastatic melanoma is extremely refractory to existing chemotherapeutic drugs and bioimmune adjuvant therapies, and the life span of patients with metastatic melanoma is often measured in months. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for the development of tumor metastasis is critical for finding successful curative measures. An expending amount of data reveal the importance of inflammatory microenvironment and stroma in cancer initiation and progression, which brings new directions and approaches to cancer treatment. This review will summarize current data on the role of the tumor microenvironment in shaping the metastatic phenotype of melanoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Melanoma growth, angiogenesis and metastatic progression are strongly promoted by the inflammatory tumor microenvironment due to high levels of cytokine and chemokine secretion by the recruited inflammatory and stromal cells. In addition, platelets and molecular components of procoagulant pathways have been recently emerging as critical players of tumor growth and metastasis. In particular, thrombin, through the activity of its receptor protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1), regulates tumor cell adhesion to platelets and endothelial cells, stimulates tumor angiogenesis, and promotes tumor growth and metastasis. Notably, in many tumor types including melanoma, PAR-1 expression directly correlates with their metastatic phenotype and is directly responsible for the expression of interleukin-8, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), vascular endothelial growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, and integrins. Another proinflammatory receptor-ligand pair, platelet-activating factor (PAF) and its receptor (PAFR), have been shown to act as important modulators of tumor cell adhesion to endothelial cells, angiogenesis, tumor growth and metastasis. PAF is a bioactive lipid produced by a variety of cells from membrane glycerophospholipids in the same reaction that releases arachidonic acid, and can be secreted by platelets, inflammatory cells, keratinocytes and endothelial cells. We have demonstrated that in metastatic melanoma cells, PAF stimulates the phosphorylation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein (CREB) and activating transcription factor 1 (ATF-1), which results in overexpression of MMP-2 and membrane type 1-MMP (membrane type 1-MMP). Since only metastatic melanoma cells overexpress CREB/ATF-1, we propose that metastatic melanoma cells are better equipped than their non-metastatic counterparts to respond to PAF within the tumor microenvironment. The evidence supporting the hypothesis that the two G-protein coupled receptors, PAR-1 and PAFR, contribute to the acquisition of the metastatic phenotype of melanoma is presented and discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a beta-galactoside-binding protein that is involved in cancer progression and metastasis. Using a progressive human melanoma tissue microarray, we previously demonstrated that melanocytes accumulate Gal-3 during the progression from benign to dysplastic nevi to melanoma and further to metastatic melanoma. Herein, we show that silencing of Gal-3 expression with small hairpin RNA results in a loss of tumorigenic and metastatic potential of melanoma cells. In vitro, Gal-3 silencing resulted in loss of tumor cell invasiveness and capacity to form tube-like structures on collagen ("vasculogenic mimicry"). cDNA microarray analysis after Gal-3 silencing revealed that Gal-3 regulates the expression of multiple genes, including endothelial cell markers that appear to be aberrantly expressed in highly aggressive melanoma cells, causing melanoma cell plasticity. These genes included vascular endothelial-cadherin, which plays a pivotal role in vasculogenic mimicry, as well as interleukin-8, fibronectin-1, endothelial differentiation sphingolipid G-protein receptor-1, and matrix metalloproteinase-2. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays and promoter analyses revealed that Gal-3 silencing resulted in a decrease of vascular endothelial-cadherin and interleukin-8 promoter activities due to enhanced recruitment of transcription factor early growth response-1. Moreover, transient overexpression of early growth response-1 in C8161-c9 cells resulted in a loss of vascular endothelial-cadherin and interleukin-8 promoter activities and protein expression. Thus, Gal-3 plays an essential role during the acquisition of vasculogenic mimicry and angiogenic properties associated with melanoma progression.
American Journal Of Pathology 01/2009; 173(6):1839-52. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The thrombin receptor [protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1)] is overexpressed in highly metastatic melanoma cell lines and in patients with metastatic lesions. Activation of PAR-1 leads to cell signaling and up-regulation of genes involved in adhesion, invasion, and angiogenesis. Herein, we stably silence PAR-1 through the use of lentiviral short hairpin RNA and found significant decreases in both tumor growth (P < 0.01) and metastasis (P < 0.001) of highly metastatic melanoma cell lines in vivo. The use of viruses for therapy is not ideal as it can induce toxic immune responses and possible gene alterations following viral integration. Therefore, we also used systemic delivery of PAR-1 small interfering RNA (siRNA) incorporated into neutral liposomes [1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (DOPC)] to decrease melanoma growth and metastasis in vivo. Significant decreases in tumor growth, weight, and metastatic lung colonies (P < 0.001 for all) were found in mice treated with PAR-1 siRNA-DOPC. The in vivo effects of PAR-1 on invasion and angiogenesis were analyzed via immunohistochemistry. Concomitant decreases in vascular endothelial growth factor, interleukin-8, and matrix metalloproteinase-2 expression levels, as well as decreased blood vessel density (CD31), were found in tumor samples from PAR-1 siRNA-treated mice, suggesting that PAR-1 is a regulator of melanoma cell growth and metastasis by affecting angiogenic and invasive factors. We propose that siRNA incorporated into DOPC nanoparticles could be delivered systemically and used as a new modality for melanoma treatment.
Cancer Research 11/2008; 68(21):9078-86. · 9.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant progression and tumor metastasis is a complex process enabled by the intrinsic genomic instability of the tumor cells and supported by a plethora of recruited cell types within the tumor microenvironment. Propelled by a selective pressure to overcome tissue homeostatic mechanisms, a metastatic "super-cell" emerges whose phenotype is associated with the cellular capacity for uncontrolled growth, resistance to apoptosis, high invasive potential, and effective neoangiogenesis. While genetic alterations arise early in the course of melanoma development, the progression toward metastatic disease is accompanied by deregulated expression of a number of transcription factors. In melanoma, acquisition of the metastatic phenotype involves the loss of Activator Protein-2alpha (AP-2alpha) and gain in expression of cAMP-responsive element (CRE)-binding protein/Activating Transcription Factor-1 (CREB/ATF-1) family transcription factors. Together with the upregulation of ATF-2, SNAIL/SLUG, Nuclear Factor kappaB, STAT3 and 5, and other transcription factors, these changes result in the aberrant expression of cellular adhesion molecules, matrix-degrading enzymes as well as other factors that enable a complex interaction of metastatic cells with the extracellular milieu. Similar to the case of oncogene addiction, the tumorigenicity and metastatic potential of melanoma can be greatly inhibited by altering the activity of the above-named transcription factors, therefore indicating new treatment prospects.
Cancer biology & therapy 08/2008; 7(7):997-1003. · 3.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The p53 tumor suppressor gene and gene product are among the most diverse and complex been shown to have a direct correlation with cancer development and have been shown to occur in nearly 50% of all cancers. p53 mutations are particularly common in skin cancers and UV irradiation has been shown to be a primary cause of specific 'signature' mutations that can result in oncogenic transformation. There are certain 'hot-spots' in the p53 gene where mutations are commonly found that result in a mutated dipyrimidine site. This review discusses the role of p53 from normal function and its dysfunction in precancerous lesions, nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers. Additionally, molecules that associate with p53 and alter its function to produce neoplastic conditions are also explored in this chapter.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology 02/2008; 624:265-82. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of melanoma has been steadily increasing over the last 3 decades. Currently, there are several approved treatments for metastatic melanoma, including chemotherapy and biologic therapy as both single treatments and in combination, but none is associated with a significant increase in survival. The chemotherapeutic agent dacarbazine is the standard treatment for metastatic melanoma, with a response rate of 15-20%, although most responses are not sustained. One of the main problems with melanoma treatment is chemotherapeutic resistance. The mechanisms of resistance of melanoma cells to chemotherapy have yet to be elucidated. Following treatment with dacarbazine, melanoma cells activate the extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway, which results in over-expression and secretion of interleukin (IL)-8 and vascular endothelial growth factor. Melanoma cells utilize this mechanism to escape from the cytotoxic effect of the drug. We have previously reported on the development of fully human neutralizing antibodies against IL-8 (anti-IL-8-monoclonal-antibody [ABX-IL8]). In preclinical studies, ABX-IL8 inhibited tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis of human melanoma in vivo. We propose that combination treatment with dacarbazine and IL-8 will potentiate the cytotoxic effect of the drug. Furthermore, formation of metastasis is a multistep process that includes melanoma cell adhesion to endothelial cells. Melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MUC18) mediates these processes in melanoma and is therefore a good target for eliminating metastasis. We have developed a fully human antibody against MUC18 that has shown promising results in preclinical studies. Since resistance is one of the major obstacles in the treatment of melanoma, we propose that utilization of antibodies against IL-8 or MUC18 alone, or as part of a 'cocktail' in combination with dacarbazine, may be a new treatment modality for metastatic melanoma that overcomes resistance of the disease to chemotherapy and significantly improves survival of patients.
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology 02/2008; 9(5):307-11. · 2.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An inflammatory tumor microenvironment fosters tumor growth, angiogenesis and metastatic progression. Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is an inflammatory biolipid produced from membrane glycerophospholipids. Through the activity of its G-protein coupled receptor, PAF triggers a variety of pathological reactions including tumor neo-angiogenesis. Several groups have demonstrated that inhibiting PAF-PAF receptor pathway at the level of a ligand or receptor results in an effective inhibition of experimental tumor growth and metastasis. In particular, our group has recently demonstrated that PAF receptor antagonists can effectively inhibit the metastatic potential of human melanoma cells in nude mice. Furthermore, we showed that PAF stimulated the phosphorylation of CREB and ATF-1 in metastatic melanoma cells, which resulted in overexpression of MMP-2 and MT1-MMP. Our data indicate that PAF acts as a promoter of melanoma metastasis in vivo. Since only metastatic melanoma cells overexpress CREB/ATF-1, we propose that these cells are better equipped to respond to PAF within the tumor microenvironment when compared to their non-metastatic counterparts.
Cancer and metastasis reviews 01/2008; 26(3-4):359-71. · 7.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human melanoma represents the fastest growing malignancy in the US. The etiology of melanoma is highly debated as is the role of ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the initiation and progression of melanoma. This article discusses data from UV exposure and its relationship to the development of melanoma from various models of melanoma as well as various genetic alterations seen in oncogenic transformation of melanocytes. Genetic alterations such as the p16(INK4a) deletion, melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), RAS, and v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) may be indicative of a predisposition to melanoma development. Historical research as well as current data on the significance of the hot spot mutation in BRAF is discussed in its relative potential to the activating mutation in RAS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activator protein-2 (AP-2) is a transcription factor that regulates proliferation and differentiation in mammalian cells and has been implicated in the acquisition of the metastatic phenotype in several types of cancer. Herein, we examine the role of AP-2alpha in colon cancer progression. We provide evidence for the lack of AP-2alpha expression in the late stages of colon cancer cells. Re-expression of the AP-2alpha gene in the AP-2alpha-negative SW480 colon cancer cells suppressed their tumorigenicity following orthotopic injection into the cecal wall of nude mice. The inhibition of tumor growth could be attributed to the increased expression of E-cadherin and decreased expression and activity of matrix-metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in the transfected cells, as well as a substantial loss of their in vitro invasive properties. Conversely, targeting constitutive expression of AP-2alpha in AP-2-positive KM12C colon cancer cells with small interfering RNA resulted in an increase in their invasive potential, downregulation of E-cadherin and increased expression of MMP-9. In SW480 cells, re-expression of AP-2alpha resulted in a fourfold increase in the activity of E-cadherin promoter, and a 5-14-fold decrease in the activity of MMP-9 promoter, indicating transcriptional regulation of these genes by AP-2alpha. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed that re-expressed AP-2alpha directly binds to the promoter of E-cadherin, where it has been previously reported to act as a transcriptional activator. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed AP-2alpha binding to the MMP-9 promoter, which ensued by decreased binding of transcription factor Sp-1 and changes in the recruitment of transcription factors to a distal AP-1 element, thus, contributing to the overall downregulation of MMP-9 promoter activity. Collectively, our data provide evidence that AP-2alpha acts as a tumor suppressor gene in colon cancer..