Scientific reports

IRGM1 enhances B16 melanoma cell metastasis through PI3K-Rac1 mediated epithelial mesenchymal transition.

PMID 26202910


Melanoma is one of the most aggressive skin cancers and is well known for its high metastatic rate. Studies have shown that epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) is essential for melanoma cell metastasis. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying EMT are still not fully understood. We have shown that IRGM1, a member of immunity-related GTPase family that regulates immune cell motility, is highly expressed by melanoma cells. The current study aimed to explore whether and how IRGM1 may regulate melanoma cell metastasis. To test this, we modified IRGM1 expression in B16 melanoma cells. We found that over-expression of IRGM1 substantially enhanced pulmonary metastasis in vivo. In keeping with that, knocking-in IRGM1 strongly enhanced while knocking-down IRGM1 impaired B16 cell migration and invasion ability in vitro. Interestingly, we observed that IRGM1 enhanced F-actin polymerization and triggers epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) through a mechanism involved in PIK3CA mediated Rac1 activation. Together, these data reveals a novel molecular mechanism that involved in melanoma metastasis.

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