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J Invest Dermatol. 1996 Oct;107(4):597-602.

Evidence of the involvement of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in the migration, actin stress fiber formation, and alpha v beta 3-integrin-mediated adherence of human melanoma cells.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Freiburg, Germany.


Tumor invasion and formation of metastases are major obstacles for a successful therapy of melanomas. Metastasis is thought to require multiple steps such as alpha v beta 3-integrin-mediated adhesion, proteolytic digestion of extracellular matrix by metalloproteinase-2, and reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. To analyze the functional role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in these processes, melanoma cells were treated with the fungal metabolite wortmannin. Wortmannin inhibited phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity in melanoma cells and migration in an equally concentration-dependent fashion. Flow cytometric analysis of N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)phallacidin-stained actin network indicated reduction of actin filaments by wortmannin. Fluorescence laser confocal microscopy experiments revealed breakdown of actin stress fibers. In addition, wortmannin inhibited alpha v beta 3-integrin-mediated adhesion of melanoma cells to vitronectin. Since flow cytometric measurements did not show altered expression of the alpha v beta 3-integrin at the cell surface, avidity changes of the alpha v beta 3-integrin by wortmannin are suggested. In contrast to the actin analysis and adhesion assays, wortmannin had no influence on mRNA expression or on protein secretion of metalloproteinase-2. These data provide evidence that phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase is an essential signal transduction protein required for migration of melanoma cells, regulating formation of the actin stress fiber as well as alpha v beta 3-integrin-mediated adhesion.

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