The Journal of investigative dermatology

Downregulation of BRCA1 in A375 melanoma cell line increases radio-sensitivity and modifies metastatic and angiogenic gene expression.

PMID 15009718


The participation of BRCA1 (breast cancer 1) in DNA repair is well established, especially in mammary and ovarian cells. Our purpose was to develop a new in vivo radio-sensitizing therapy for melanoma. We therefore investigated the effect of downregulation of BRCA1 on irradiated melanoma cells using an anti-BRCA1 ribozyme. Our results show that BRCA1 downregulation increased radio-sensitivity of the A375 cell line, suggesting that BRCA1 could act as a caretaker in melanoma; however, as BRCA1 functions are not limited to maintaining genomic integrity but also regulate transcription and the cell cycle, we confirmed that the proliferative rate of BRCA1 downregulated clones did not change. We also demonstrate that: (1) among the major pro-angiogenic genes, FGF-2 was not increased before or after irradiation and vascular endothelial growth factor strongly inhibited after irradiation; (2) expression of two important metalloproteinases, matrix metalloproteinase 2 and 9, involved in melanoma metastasis were decreased before and after irradiation; (3) expression of their major inhibitor, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase, was mainly upregulated; and (4) that invasion of BRCA1 downregulated cells was modified. Together these data suggest that BRCA1 downregulation in melanoma cells did not make them more aggressive and could lead to new therapeutic strategies for this tumor, which is so difficult to control once metastasized.