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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Endothelin-1 upregulates MCAM in melanocytes.

Melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM) is a cell-surface adhesion molecule expressed on over 70% of metastatic melanoma cells but not expressed in normal melanocytes invivo. Protein levels of MCAM correlate with aggressive invasive behavior of melanoma cells in vitro and invivo. Here we demonstrate that endothelin-1 (ET-1) upregulates MCAM protein in primary human melanocytes. MCAM upregulation by ET-1 occurs irrespective of degree of melanocyte pigmentation and is dose-responsive. The drug BQ788 is an endothelin-B (ET(B)) receptor antagonist and inhibits upregulation of MCAM by ET-1. In addition, endothelin-3 (ET-3) and N-succinyl-[Glu9, Ala11, 15]-ET-1-1620, both selective ET(B) agonists, are potent upregulators of MCAM. These demonstrate a critical role for the ET(B) receptor in the upregulation of MCAM by ET-1 and related isoforms. MCAM mRNA abundance is also increased by ET-1 stimulation, thus the mechanism of MCAM protein upregulation may occur at the level of transcription. Our previous studies have demonstrated that ET-1 downregulates E-cadherin in melanocytes and melanoma cells. Since E-cadherin is a melanoma invasion suppressor, and MCAM is a melanoma invasion promoter, ET-1 may promote melanoma invasion and metastasis through the regulation of adhesion molecule expression.[1]


  1. Endothelin-1 upregulates MCAM in melanocytes. Mangahas, C.R., dela Cruz, G.V., Schneider, R.J., Jamal, S. J. Invest. Dermatol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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