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J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Sep;130(9):2240-9. doi: 10.1038/jid.2010.126. Epub 2010 May 27.

The glutamate release inhibitor Riluzole decreases migration, invasion, and proliferation of melanoma cells.

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Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.


The goal of this study was to examine the effects of metabotropic glutamate receptor-1 (GRM1) blockade on melanoma anchorage-independent growth and invasion. We performed colony and invasion assays using GRM1-expressing melanoma lines and the GRM1-negative UACC930 line. Using the glutamate-release inhibitor Riluzole or the non-competitive GRM1 antagonist BAY 36-7620 we were able to induce considerable inhibition of colony formation and invasion in GRM1-expressing melanoma lines. Neither pharmacological agent induced significant reduction in colony formation or invasion in the GRM1-negative melanoma line, UACC930. Additionally we assessed the efficacy of these inhibitors to inhibit the growth of fresh melanoma tumor samples cultured on a 74-mum nylon mesh. Both Riluzole and BAY 36-7620 significantly inhibited tumor cell growth into the interstitial spaces of the mesh. When repeated with normal mole samples both inhibitors were much less effective in preventing the outgrowth of cells. These experiments show that a specific antagonist of GRM1 (BAY 36-7620) or an inhibitor of glutamate release (Riluzole) can significantly suppress melanoma migration, invasion and colony formation as well as inhibit the proliferation of fresh melanoma cells. These findings, added to our previous work, strengthen the case that GRM1 is a valid therapeutic target in patients with melanoma.

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