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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Sep 3;321(4):783-7.

Effect of a hyaluronan synthase suppressor, 4-methylumbelliferone, on B16F-10 melanoma cell adhesion and locomotion.

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Department of Biochemistry, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, 5 Zaifu-cho, Hirosaki 036-8562, Japan.


Hyaluronan (HA) is a ubiquitous, major component of the extracellular matrix. It is involved in cell adhesion and locomotion, and hence in tumor metastasis. We have previously reported that 4-methylumbelliferone (MU) inhibits HA synthesis and may be a useful tool for examining the functions of HA. We here demonstrate that the formation of cell surface HA by melanoma cells and its release into the culture medium are inhibited by MU. Adhesion and locomotion assays revealed that the adhesion and locomotion of melanoma cells were dose-dependently inhibited by MU. Conversely, treatment with exogenous HA enhanced both adhesion and locomotion. Thus, preventing the formation of cell surface HA reduced both the adhesion and locomotion of melanoma cells, suggesting that MU may act as an inhibitor of tumor metastasis.

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