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Tetraspanin 8 is a novel regulator of ILK-driven β1 integrin adhesion and signaling in invasive melanoma cells.


PMID 28188308

Abstract

Melanoma is well known for its propensity for lethal metastasis and resistance to most current therapies. Tumor progression and drug resistance depend to a large extent on the interplay between tumor cells and the surrounding matrix. We previously identified Tetraspanin 8 (Tspan8) as a critical mediator of melanoma invasion, whose expression is absent in healthy skin. The present study investigated whether Tspan8 may influence cell-matrix anchorage and regulate downstream molecular pathways leading to an aggressive behavior. Using silencing and ectopic expression strategies, we showed that Tspan8-mediated invasion of melanoma cells resulted from defects in cell-matrix anchorage by interacting with β1 integrins and by interfering with their clustering, without affecting their surface or global expression levels. These effects were associated with impaired phosphorylation of integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and its downstream target Akt-S473, but not FAK. Specific blockade of Akt or ILK activity strongly affected cell-matrix adhesion. Moreover, expression of a dominant-negative form of ILK reduced β1 integrin clustering and cell-matrix adhesion. Finally, we observed a tumor-promoting effect of Tspan8 in vivo and a mutually exclusive expression pattern between Tspan8 and phosphorylated ILK in melanoma xenografts and human melanocytic lesions. Altogether, the in vitro, in vivo and in situ data highlight a novel regulatory role for Tspan8 in melanoma progression by modulating cell-matrix interactions through β1 integrin-ILK axis and establish Tspan8 as a negative regulator of ILK activity. These findings emphasize the importance of targeting Tspan8 as a means of switching from low- to firm-adhesive states, mandatory to prevent tumor dissemination.

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EHU026681 MISSION® esiRNA, esiRNA human TSPAN8 (esiRNA1)