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Mol Cell Biochem. 2000 Sep;212(1-2):19-28.

Regulation of tumor growth and metastasis of human melanoma by the CREB transcription factor family.

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Department of Cancer Biology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine the role of CREB and its associated proteins in melanoma progression. We used MeWo human melanoma cells transfected with a dominant negative construct of CREB, KCREB. KCREB has a mutation in its DNA-binding domain and can not bind the CRE element. Expression of KCREB yields proper heterodimerization with CREB and its associated proteins, but the proteins associated with KCREB do not confer the same degree of transcriptional activity as they would in the case of wild-type CREB. Here, we demonstrate that expression of KCREB in MeWo melanoma cells leads to a decrease in their tumorigenicity and metastatic potential in nude mice. We identified two mechanisms that explain at least partially this effect of KCREB. The first, is one in which CREB and its associated proteins play an essential role in invasion. We showed that the invasive properties of KCREB-transfected MeWo cells were reduced due to the downregulation of the CRE-dependent expression of the type IV collagenase MMP-2 and the adhesion molecule MCAM/MUC18. In the second mechanism, CREB and its associated proteins act as survival factors for human melanoma cells. Here we demonstrated that expression of KCREB in MeWo cells rendered them susceptible to apoptosis induced by thapsigargin, which in turn increased the intracellular level of Ca2+. Thapsigargin induced CREB and ATF-1 phosphorylation and activated CRE-dependent transcription in MeWo cells. Collectively, our data demonstrate that CREB and its associated proteins play an important role in tumor growth and metastasis of human melanoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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