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Oncogene. 2002 Sep 26;21(43):6684-8.

The HtrA1 serine protease is down-regulated during human melanoma progression and represses growth of metastatic melanoma cells.

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Laboratory 'C', CRS, Regina Elena Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy.


Differential gene expression of cell lines derived from a malignant melanoma or its autologous lymph node metastasis using cDNA arrays indicated down-regulation of PRSS11, a gene encoding the serine protease HtrA1, a homolog of the Escherichia coli protease HtrA, in the metastatic line. Stable PRSS11 overexpression in the metastatic cell line strongly inhibited proliferation, chemoinvasion and Nm23-H1 protein expression in vitro, as well as cell growth in vivo in nu/nu mice. A polyclonal anti-HtrA1 serum demonstrated a significantly higher expression in primary melanomas when compared to unrelated metastatic lesions in a human melanoma tissue array, and down-modulation of HtrA1 expression in autologous lymph node melanoma metastases in seven out of 11 cases examined. These results suggest that down-regulation of PRSS11 and HtrA1 expression may represent an indicator of melanoma progression.

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