American Association for Cancer Research
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Supplementary Methods from TWIST1 Is an ERK1/2 Effector That Promotes Invasion and Regulates MMP-1 Expression in Human Melanoma Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-30, 21:32 authored by Michele B. Weiss, Ethan V. Abel, Melanie M. Mayberry, Kevin J. Basile, Adam C. Berger, Andrew E. Aplin

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Tumor cells often use developmental processes to progress toward advanced disease. The E-box transcription factor TWIST1 is essential to epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cell migration in the developing neural crest. In melanoma, which derives from the neural crest cell lineage, enhanced TWIST1 expression has been linked to worse clinical prognosis. However, mechanisms underlying TWIST1 expression and whether aberrant TWIST1 levels promote steps in melanoma progression remain unknown. Here, we report that elevated TWIST1 mRNA/protein expression is dependent on extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 signaling, which is hyperactive in the majority of melanomas. We show that TWIST1 protein levels are especially high in melanoma cell lines generated from invasive, premetastatic stage tumors. Furthermore, TWIST1 expression is required and sufficient to promote invasion through Matrigel and spheroid outgrowth in three-dimensional dermal-mimetic conditions. Alterations to spheroid outgrowth were not as a result of altered cell death, cell-cycle profile, or paradigm EMT protein changes. Importantly, we identify matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) as a novel downstream target of TWIST1. We have determined that TWIST1 acts, in a dose-dependent manner, as a mediator between hyperactive ERK1/2 signaling and regulation of MMP-1 transcription. Together, these studies mechanistically show a previously unrecognized interplay between ERK1/2, TWIST1, and MMP-1 that is likely significant in the progression of melanoma toward metastasis. Cancer Res; 72(24); 6382–92. ©2012 AACR.

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