Journal of Investigative Dermatology vol:132 issue:9 pages:2245-2254
Aggressiveness of advanced melanomas relates in part to their marked propensity to develop neoangiogenesis and metastases. Among its numerous pro-cancer roles, galectin (gal)-1 expressed and/or secreted by both cancer and endothelial cells stimulates proliferation and angiogenesis. This study first shows that gal-1 is more highly expressed at both mRNA and protein levels than its congeners in melanomas and particularly in advanced lesions. The roles of gal-1 were further investigated in vivo in the highly proliferating and vascularized pseudometastatic B16F10 mouse melanoma model using stable knockdown B16F10 cells and wild-type versus gal-1 knockout mice, and then in vitro in B16F10 tumoral and lung microvascular cells. Gal-1 depletion in the B16F10 tumor cells but not in the tumor-bearing mice significantly increased melanoma-bearing mice survival. Tumor-derived gal-1 thus seems to have more critical roles than the host-derived one. In fact, gal-1 displays distinct effects on the H-Ras-dependent p53/p21 pathways: in primary lung microvessel endothelial cells, gal-1 seems to be involved in the maintenance of senescent status through the induction of both p53 and p21 while it stimulates B16F10 cancer cell proliferation through a p53/p21 decrease. Altogether, these data point to gal-1 as a potential target to combat melanomas.Journal of Investigative Dermatology advance online publication, 24 May 2012; doi:10.1038/jid.2012.142.