Expression and function of the AMF receptor by human melanoma in experimental and clinical systems

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Motility of tumor cells is the rate limiting potential of metastatic cells and is regulated by autocrine and paracrine factors. Autocrine motility factor/neuroleukin/phosphohexose isomerase (AMF) is one of the best characterized autocrine motogenic cytokines. Here we have studied its in vitro effects on several human melanoma cell lines and found that neither cell line exhibited mitogenic response to AMF at a concentration where motogenic response could be initiated. Similar to previous studies on murine melanoma, activation of the AMF receptor upregulated β3 while it downregulated β1 integrins at the cell surface, inducing an integrin phenotype characteristic for invasive/metastatic melanoma. The gp78/AMF receptor protein expression in human melanoma cell lines correlated to their in vivo spontaneous metastatic potential. Furthermore, in two out of three human melanoma lines the expression significantly increased in the primary tumor when spontaneous metastases developed (immunosuppressed newborn rat model versus SCID mice). In a prospective study we have also analyzed AMF receptor protein expression in primary tumors of 54 skin melanoma patients using IHC. These studies revealed three types of AMF receptor phenotype: weak, heterogenous and strong expression profile. While in thin tumors weak/heterogenous AMFR expression predominated, in thick tumors the strong expression profile was predominant. The connection between AMFR expression and the invasive/metastatic potential of melanoma was further supported by our observation that SSM melanoma in the vertical growth phase expressed this motility receptor more strongly than tumors in the radial growth phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Experimental Metastasis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 4 2002



  • Autocrine motility factor
  • Human melanoma cell lines
  • Pathology
  • Receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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