American Association for Cancer Research
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Supplementary Video 4 from Senescent Fibroblasts in Melanoma Initiation and Progression: An Integrated Theoretical, Experimental, and Clinical Approach

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posted on 2023-03-30, 22:01 authored by Eunjung Kim, Vito Rebecca, Inna V. Fedorenko, Jane L. Messina, Rahel Mathew, Silvya S. Maria-Engler, David Basanta, Keiran S.M. Smalley, Alexander R.A. Anderson

MOV file - 6619K, This video shows the spatio-temporal evolution of vSkin that produced Figure 6A (normal melanocytes and mildly senescent fibroblasts).



We present an integrated study to understand the key role of senescent fibroblasts in driving melanoma progression. Based on the hybrid cellular automata paradigm, we developed an in silico model of normal skin. The model focuses on key cellular and microenvironmental variables that regulate interactions among keratinocytes, melanocytes, and fibroblasts, key components of the skin. The model recapitulates normal skin structure and is robust enough to withstand physical as well as biochemical perturbations. Furthermore, the model predicted the important role of the skin microenvironment in melanoma initiation and progression. Our in vitro experiments showed that dermal fibroblasts, which are an important source of growth factors in the skin, adopt a secretory phenotype that facilitates cancer cell growth and invasion when they become senescent. Our coculture experiments showed that the senescent fibroblasts promoted the growth of nontumorigenic melanoma cells and enhanced the invasion of advanced melanoma cells. Motivated by these experimental results, we incorporated senescent fibroblasts into our model and showed that senescent fibroblasts transform the skin microenvironment and subsequently change the skin architecture by enhancing the growth and invasion of normal melanocytes. The interaction between senescent fibroblasts and the early-stage melanoma cells leads to melanoma initiation and progression. Of microenvironmental factors that senescent fibroblasts produce, proteases are shown to be one of the key contributing factors that promoted melanoma development from our simulations. Although not a direct validation, we also observed increased proteolytic activity in stromal fields adjacent to melanoma lesions in human histology. This leads us to the conclusion that senescent fibroblasts may create a prooncogenic skin microenvironment that cooperates with mutant melanocytes to drive melanoma initiation and progression and should therefore be considered as a potential future therapeutic target. Interestingly, our simulations to test the effects of a stroma-targeting therapy that negates the influence of proteolytic activity showed that the treatment could be effective in delaying melanoma initiation and progression. Cancer Res; 73(23); 6874–85. ©2013 AACR.

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