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Br J Cancer. 2002 Jun 17;86(12):1957-62.

Decreased proliferation of human melanoma cell lines caused by antisense RNA against translation factor eIF-4A1.

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Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Benjamin Franklin, The Free University of Berlin, Fabeckstrasse 60-62, 14195 Berlin, Germany.


Control of translation initiation was recognised as a critical checkpoint for cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. In human melanoma cells, we have previously reported consistent overexpression of translation initiation factor eIF-4A1. Here, we investigated by transfection of antisense constructs its significance for the control of melanoma cell growth. The tetracycline-inducible expression system was established in melanoma cells, and three fragments of the 5'-, central-, and 3'-portion of the eIF-4A1 cDNA were subcloned in antisense and in sense orientation after a tetracycline inducible promoter. Significant proliferation decrease was obtained after transient transfection and induction of antisense RNA directed against the 5'- and the central portion (up to 10%), whereas, no effects were seen after induction of the 3'-fragment and the sense controls. Cell clones stably transfected with the central antisense fragment revealed after doxycycline induction reduced expression of endogeneous eIF-4A1 mRNA correlated with decreased proliferation rates (up to 6%). These data demonstrate the applicability of antisense strategies against translation factors in melanoma cells. Translation initiation factor eIF-4A1 contributes to the control of melanoma cell proliferation and may be taken into consideration when scheduling new therapeutic approaches targeting the translational control.

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