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J Invest Dermatol. 1997 Jun;108(6):908-13.

Identification of novel cadherins expressed in human melanoma cells.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Japan.


Cadherin molecules are essential for tissue morphogenesis and are also related to cancer invasion and metastasis. Although normal melanocytes express E- and P-cadherin, the activity and expression of E- and P-cadherin in melanoma cells are still unknown. We measured the homophilic adhesion activity of human normal epidermal melanocytes and the melanoma cell lines MeWo and A375. The melanoma cells showed stronger homophilic adhesion activity than did the melanocytes, despite the lower expression of E- and P-cadherin in the melanoma cells. This result suggested that melanoma cells expressed other types of homophilic adhesion molecules. Using degenerate primers to amplify multiple cadherin subtypes, we performed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with the first strand of cDNAs generated by reverse transcription of the mRNAs of the melanoma cells, and we isolated two known cadherin fragments, N-cadherin and PC42, and six novel cadherin fragments, cadherins ME1-ME6. The reverse transcriptase-PCR using specific primers of cadherins including E-, P-, and N-cadherins, PC42, and cadherins ME1-ME6 revealed that the melanoma cells expressed more kinds of cadherin molecules than did the melanocytes. Such cadherins may play an important role in melanoma cell-cell adhesion.

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