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Cancer Res. 1997 Jun 15;57(12):2522-8.

The high affinity alphaIIb beta3 integrin is involved in invasion of human melanoma cells.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA.


Integrins play an important role in mediating tumor cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) and tumor cell-endothelial cell interactions. The integrin alphaIIb beta3 (GPIIb-IIIa) is expressed on the surface of platelets in an inactive state and requires a conformational change to recognize extracellular matrix proteins such as fibrinogen, fibronectin, vitronectin, and others. In this study, we questioned whether human melanoma cells express the alphaIIb beta3 integrin. Reverse transcription-PCR/Southern blotting, Northern blotting, and dot blotting demonstrated the presence of the platelet-type alphaIIb beta3 integrin in human melanoma WM 983B, WM 983A, and WM 35 cells. AP-2, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) to alphaIIb beta3, positively stained two human melanoma specimens, indicating expression of this integrin in vivo. Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and 12(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, two activators of protein kinase C, stimulated adhesion of melanoma cells to immobilized fibronectin and PAC-1, a mAb to alphaIIb beta3. PAC-1 specifically recognizes the conformationally active form of platelet alphaIIb beta3. Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-stimulated adhesion of WM 983B cells to PAC-1 was completely blocked by an RGD peptide, thus providing evidence that tumor cell adhesion to PAC-1 is mediated via the alphaIIb beta3 integrin but not the Fc receptor. Confocal immunofluorescent studies demonstrated that fibronectin-adherent melanoma cells possess an intracellularly localized pool of high-affinity alphaIIb beta3. Invasion of WM 983B cells through fibronectin was stimulated by 12(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, and this stimulated invasion was blocked by the mAb PAC-1. The data suggest that melanoma cells express the high-affinity alphaIIb beta3 integrin, which is involved in tumor invasion.

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