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Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2012 Jan 1;17:1-15.

MDA-9/syntenin: a positive gatekeeper of melanoma metastasis.

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  • 1Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.


Melanoma differentiation associated gene-9 (MDA-9), synonymous with syntenin, is an adapter protein that provides a central role in regulating cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion. MDA-9/syntenin transduces signals from the cell-surface to the interior through its interaction with a plethora of additional proteins and actively participates in intracellular trafficking and cell-surface targeting, synaptic transmission, and axonal outgrowth. Recent studies demarcate a seminal role of MDA-9/syntenin in cancer metastasis. In the context of melanoma, MDA-9/syntenin functions as a positive regulator of melanoma progression and metastasis through interactions with c-Src and promotes the formation of an active FAK/c-Src signaling complex leading to NF-k B and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activation. The present review provides a current perspective of our understanding of the important features of MDA-9/syntenin and its significant role in tumor cell metastasis with special focus on molecular mechanism of action.

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