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

Coordinated expression of the vitronectin receptor and the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor in metastatic melanoma cells.

Integrin alpha v beta 3 is a marker of progression in malignant melanoma. Previously we reported that human melanoma cells derived from regional lymph node metastases had increased alpha v beta 3- mediated adhesion to lymph node vitronectin. In the present study, the expression and function of alpha v beta 3 were further investigated with emphasis on the functional relationship between alpha v beta 3 and the urokinase-type plasminogen activator system of proteolysis. We found that metastases-derived melanoma MeWo LNI 6I (6I) and MIM/8 LNI cells had a markedly increased expression of alpha v mRNA transcripts relative to the parent lines which was reflected in significantly elevated levels of the alpha v beta 3 heterodimers on the cell surface. These cells also expressed elevated levels of urokinase plasminogen activator receptor ( uPAR) mRNA and had higher levels of surface bound urokinase plasminogen activator as detected by immunolabeling. To determine whether the expression of uPAR and alpha v were linked, alpha v synthesis in the metastatic melanoma cells was suppressed using alpha v antisense phosphorothioate oligonucleotides. This resulted in a marked decrease in detectable alpha v mRNA and protein and a corresponding substratum-specific reduction in cell adhesion to vitronectin. When uPAR expression in these cells was subsequently analyzed, we found a reduction of approximately 50% in uPAR mRNA levels. On the other hand, ligation of the alpha v beta 3 receptor on the melanoma cells by immobilized antibody resulted in a twofold increase in uPAR mRNA. The results suggest that the expression of uPAR in metastatic melanoma cells is linked to the expression and function of the vitronectin receptor.[1]


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