Development (Cambridge, England)

Fascin 1 is transiently expressed in mouse melanoblasts during development and promotes migration and proliferation.

PMID 23633513


Fascins, a family of actin-bundling proteins, are expressed in a spatially and temporally restricted manner during development and often in cancer. Fascin 1 has a clear role in cell migration in vitro, but its role in vivo in mammals is not well understood. Here, we investigate the role of fascin 1 in the melanocyte lineage and in melanoma cells. Fascin 1 knockout causes hypopigmentation in adult mice owing to migration and cell cycle progression defects in melanoblasts, the melanocyte precursor cell. Study of live embryo skin explants reveals that E14.5 fascin 1-null melanoblasts migrate slower, and generate fewer and thinner pseudopods. By contrast, fascin 1 expression drives faster migration and lamellipodia protrusion in melanocytes in vitro. In addition, fascin 1 depletion retards melanoblast proliferation in vivo and melanoma cell growth in vitro. These data indicate that fascin 1 not only promotes cell migration in mouse melanocytes but it also has a role in growth and cell cycle progression.