It is believed that the inherent differentiation program of melanocytes during embryogenesis predisposes melanoma cells to high frequency of metastasis. Sox10, a transcription factor expressed in neural crest stem cells and a subset of progeny lineages, plays a key role in the development of melanocytes. We show that B16F10 melanoma cells transfected with siRNAs specific for Sox10 display reduced migratory activity which in turn indicated that a subset of transcriptional regulatory target genes of Sox10 is likely to be involved in migration and metastasis of melanoma cells. We carried out a microarray-based gene expression profiling using a Sox10-specific siRNA to identify relevant regulatory targets and found that multiple genes including melanocortin-1 receptor (Mc1r) partake in the regulation of migration. We provide evidences that the effect of Sox10 on migration is mediated in large part by Mitf, a transcription factor downstream to Sox10. Among the mouse melanoma cell lines examined, however, only B16F10 showed robust down-regulation of Sox10 and inhibition of cell migration indicating that further dissection of dosage effects and/or cell line-specific regulatory networks is necessary. The involvement of Mc1r in migration was studied in detail in vivo using a murine metastasis model. Specifically, B16F10 melanoma cells treated with a specific siRNA showed reduced tendency in metastasizing to and colonizing the lung after being injected in the tail vein. These data reveal a cadre of novel regulators and mediators involved in migration and metastasis of melanoma cells that represents potential targets of therapeutic intervention.
|State||Published - 21 Feb 2012|