Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 15059909
Cancer Res. 2004 Apr;64(7):2534-43
Tissue invasion by tumor cells involves their migration across basement membranes through activation of extracellular matrix degradation and cell motility mechanisms. Chemokines binding to their receptors provide chemotactic cues guiding cells to specific tissues and organs; they therefore could potentially participate in tumor cell dissemination. Melanoma cells express CXCR4, the receptor for the chemokine stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha (SDF-1alpha). Using Matrigel as a model, we show that SDF-1alpha promotes invasion of melanoma cells across basement membranes. Stimulation of membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) activity by SDF-1alpha was necessary for invasion, involving at least up-regulation in the expression of this metalloproteinase, as detected in the highly metastatic BLM melanoma cell line. Moreover, SDF-1alpha triggered the activation of the GTPases RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42 on BLM cells, and expression of dominant-negative forms of RhoA and Rac1, but not Cdc42, substantially impaired the invasion of transfectants in response to SDF-1alpha, as well as the increase in MT1-MMP expression. Furthermore, CXCR4 expression on melanoma cells was notably augmented by transforming growth factor-beta1, a Matrigel component, whereas anti-transforming growth factor-beta antibodies inhibited increases in CXCR4 expression and melanoma cell invasion toward SDF-1alpha. The identification of SDF-1alpha as a potential stimulatory molecule for MT1-MMP as well as for RhoA and Rac1 activities during melanoma cell invasion, associated with an up-regulation in CXCR4 expression by interaction with basement membrane factors, could contribute to better knowledge of mechanisms stimulating melanoma cell dissemination.