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Oncogene. 2005 Jul 7;24(29):4710-20.

Interaction of human Thy-1 (CD 90) with the integrin alphavbeta3 (CD51/CD61): an important mechanism mediating melanoma cell adhesion to activated endothelium.

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  • 1Saxon Academy of Science, D-04107 Leipzig, Germany.


The expression of the alphavbeta3 integrin (CD51/CD61) on human melanoma cells has been shown to be associated most closely with tumor progression and metastases formation in melanoma. Here, we demonstrated a specific interaction of the alphavbeta3 integrin on melanoma cells with the human Thy-1, an inducible cell adhesion molecule expressed on the cell surface of activated endothelial cells (EC). The interaction was shown by the binding of purified Thy-1 protein to alpha(V)beta(3) transfected cells, to alphavbeta3-expressing melanoma cells and to purified alpha(V)beta(3) integrin. Moreover, melanoma cells adhere specifically to Thy-1 transfectants via alphavbeta3 on melanoma cells showing the functional relevance of this interaction for cell adhesion. Finally, the importance of the alphavbeta3/Thy-1 interaction for the adhesion of melanoma cells to the activated endothelium was confirmed under static and flow conditions by the inhibition of melanoma cell adhesion to and transmigration across activated EC by blocking the alphavbeta3/Thy-1 interaction. In conclusion, we have identified a new pair of adhesion molecules Thy-1 and alphavbeta3 mediating the interaction of melanoma cells and activated EC. These data explain at least in part the high tumorigenicity of alphavbeta3-expressing melanoma cells and the association of alphavbeta3-positive melanoma cells with a high risk of metastasis and poor prognosis.

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