Tumor cell interactions with their microenvironment, and neighboring endothelial cells in particular, are critical for tumor cell survival and the metastatic process. Within the spectrum of tumors, melanomas are notorious for their ability to metastasize at a relatively early stage of development; however, little is known about the molecular pathways mediating this process. We recently performed a screen to assess critical mediators of melanoma metastasis by evaluating melanoma-endothelial cell communication. Neuropilin-2 (NRP2), a cell surface receptor involved in angiogenesis and axonal guidance, was found to be an important mediator of melanoma-endothelial cell cross-talk in these studies. Here we seek to further define the role of NRP2 in melanoma growth and progression. We use stable gene silencing of NRP2 in melanomas from varying stages of tumor progression to define the role of NRP2 in melanoma growth, migration, invasion, and metastasis. We found that NRP2 gene silencing in metastatic melanoma cell lines inhibited tumor cell growth in vitro; furthermore, knockdown of NRP2 expression in the metastatic melanoma cell line 1205Lu significantly inhibited in-vivo tumor growth and metastasis. We conclude that NRP2 plays an important role in mediating melanoma growth and metastasis and suggest that targeting this cell surface molecule may represent a significant therapeutic strategy for patients diagnosed with aggressive forms of melanoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research