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Br J Cancer. 2006 Jun 5;94(11):1627-36.

CD13/Aminopeptidase N overexpression by basic fibroblast growth factor mediates enhanced invasiveness of 1F6 human melanoma cells.

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Department of Medical Oncology, VU University Medical Center, De Boelelaan 1117, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


CD13/Aminopeptidase N (CD13) is known to play an important role in tumour cell invasion. We examined whether basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is involved in the regulation of CD13 expression in human melanoma cells. 1F6 human melanoma cells were stably transfected with constructs encoding either the 18 kDa (18 kD) or all (ALL) bFGF isoform proteins. We observed highly increased CD13 mRNA and protein expression in the 1F6 clones regardless of the overexpression of either the 18 kD or all isoform proteins. Neutral aminopeptidase activity was increased five-fold and could be inhibited by bestatin and the CD13-neutralising antibody WM15. The enhanced invasion through Matrigel, but not migration in a wound assay, was efficiently abrogated by both bestatin and WM15. Upregulation of CD13 expression was the result of increased epithelial and myeloid promoter activity up to 4.5-fold in 1F6-18 kD and 1F6-ALL clones. Interestingly, in a panel of human melanoma cell lines, a significant correlation (r(2)=0.883, P<0.05) between bFGF and CD13 mRNA and protein expression was detected. High bFGF and CD13 expression were clearly related with an aggressive phenotype. Taken together, our data indicate that high bFGF expression upregulates CD13 expression in human melanoma cells by activating both the myeloid and the epithelial CD13 promoter. In addition, we show that high bFGF and CD13 expression results in enhanced invasive capacity and metastatic behaviour of human melanoma cells.

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