Lien DOI – doi: 10.1186/s13148-022-01364-x
Clinical Epigenetics 2022 14, 156
The protocadherin proteins are cell adhesion molecules at the crossroad of signaling pathways playing a major role in neuronal development. It is now understood that their role as signaling hubs is not only important for the normal physiology of cells but also for the regulation of hallmarks of cancerogenesis. Importantly, protocadherins form a cluster of genes that is regulated by DNA methylation. We have identified for the first time that PCDHB15 gene is DNA hypermethylated on its unique exon in the metastatic melanoma-derived cell lines and patients’ metastases compared to primary tumors. This DNA hypermethylation silences the gene, and treatment with the DNA demethylating agent 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine reinduces its expression. We explored the role of PCDHB15 in melanoma aggressiveness and showed that over-expression impairs invasiveness and aggregation of metastatic melanoma cells in vitro and formation of lung metastasis in vivo.
These findings highlight important modifications of the methylation of the PCDHb genes in melanoma and support a functional role of PCDHB15 silencing in melanoma aggressiveness.