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Mol Biol Cell. Mar 1996; 7(3): 383–396.
PMCID: PMC275891

CD44/chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan and alpha 2 beta 1 integrin mediate human melanoma cell migration on type IV collagen and invasion of basement membranes.


Tumor cell invasion of basement membranes (BM) represents one of the critical steps in the metastatic process. Tumor cell recognition of individual BM matrix components may involve individual cell adhesion receptors, such as integrins or cell surface proteoglycans, or may involve a coordinate action of both types of receptors. In this study, we have focused on the identification of a cell surface CD44/chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) and alpha 2 beta 1 integrin on human melanoma cells that are both directly involved in the in vitro invasion of reconstituted BM via a type IV collagen-dependent mechanism. Interfering with cell surface expression of human melanoma CSPG with either p-nitro-phenyl-beta-D-xylopyranoside treatment or anti-CD44 monoclonal antibody (mAb) preincubation (mAb) preincubation inhibits melanoma cell invasion through reconstituted BM. These treatments also strongly inhibit melanoma cell migration on type IV collagen, however, they are ineffective at inhibiting cell adhesion to type IV collagen. Purified melanoma cell surface CD44/CSPG, or purified chondroitin sulfate, bind to type IV collagen affinity columns, consistent with a role for CD44/CSPG-type IV collagen interactions in mediating tumor cell invasion. In contrast, melanoma cell migration on laminin (LM) does not involve CD44/CSPG, nor does CD44/CSPG bind to LM, suggesting that CD44/CSPG-type IV collagen interactions are specific in nature. Additionally, anti-alpha 2 and anti-beta 1 integrin mAbs are capable of blocking melanoma cell invasion of reconstituted BM. Both of these anti-integrin mAbs inhibit melanoma cell adhesion and migration on type IV collagen, whereas only anti-beta 1 mAb inhibits cell adhesion to LM. Collectively, these results indicate that melanoma cell adhesion to type IV collagen is an important consideration in invasion of reconstituted BM in vitro, and suggest that CD44/CSPG and alpha 2 beta 1 integrin may collaborate to promote human melanoma cell adhesion, migration, and invasion in vivo.

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