Enhanced chemosensitization of anoikis-resistant melanoma cells through syndecan-2 upregulation upon anchorage independency.

PMID 28977882


Syndecan family proteins are heparan sulfate proteoglycans, which involved in various cellular activities and associating with metastatic potential and chemosensitivity of tumor cells. Melanoma is one of malignant tumors with poor prognosis upon metastasis. Previously, we had shown that melanoma cells remained survived under cell detachment, which was similar to the initial steps of tumor metastasis. Downregulation of syndecan-1 and upregulation of syndecan-2 in melanoma A375 cells were observed by different suspension conditions. Specific gene alterations also increased melanoma malignancy under anchorage independency. Thus, we would like to investigate in further the role of specific gene alteration, so that it could be used to develop novel strategy to treat melanoma. In this paper, we found that syndecan-2 expression level as well the kinase phosphorylation levels increased upon anchorage independency. The pathway to regulate syndecan-2 expression shifted from PKCα/β-dependent under adhesion into PKCδ-dependent under cell suspension. Manipulation of syndecan-2 expression showed that PI3K and ERK phosphorylation as well the migratory ability increased with increased syndecan-2 expression level. In addition, suspended melanoma cells were more sensitive to chemoagents, which correlated with syndecan-2 overexpression, PI3K and ERK activations, serum level, and the presence of glycosaminoglycans. In conclusion, we showed upregulation of syndecan-2 in anoikis-resistant melanoma cells enhanced chemosensitivity through PI3K and ERK activation. This observation would support and refine the strategy of adjuvant chemotherapy to overcome metastatic melanoma.