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Melanoma Res. 1998 Jun;8(3):211-9.

In vitro modulation of human melanoma cell invasion and proliferation by all-trans-retinoic acid.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Regensburg Medical School, Germany.


Invasive growth and formation of metastases involve complex interactions between tumour cells, host cells and components of the extracellular matrix. Retinoids, a group of vitamin A derivatives, modulate cell growth and differentiation and have been found to suppress tumour cell invasion in vitro and formation of metastases in vivo. The aim of our study was to investigate changes in proliferation and invasion through membrane barriers in vitro of seven human melanoma cell lines, established from human primary melanomas or metastases, in response to treatment with retinoic acid (RA). These changes were compared with the expression regulation of molecules that have been identified as targets of RA-mediated signal pathways. Invasiveness in vitro was correlated with the origin of the cell lines and was significantly higher in the lines derived from metastases. In all the cell lines proliferation and chemotaxis were inhibited by 10(-5) M RA, but the cell lines established from metastases were significantly more sensitive with respect to inhibition of invasion by RA. The specific expression patterns of MMP-1 and TIMP-2 were detected and regulated by RA in almost all cell lines, whereas expression of MMP-2 and TIMP-1 was not influenced by RA treatment. The most striking difference between the cell lines was a strong downregulation of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) expression in cell lines derived from metastases when treated with RA in contrast to cell lines from primary melanomas. These data provide evidence that RA modulates growth, chemotaxis and invasion in a broad panel of melanoma cell lines derived both from primary non-metastasized melanomas and metastases. However, distinct molecular mechanisms are involved in mediating these effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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