14-3-3σ gene silencing during melanoma progression and its role in cell cycle control and cellular senescence

Julia Schultz, Saleh M. Ibrahim, Julio Vera, Manfred Kunz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The family of 14-3-3 proteins plays an important role in cancer biology by interfering with intracellular signalling pathways and cell cycle checkpoints. The 14-3-3σ isoform acts as a tumor suppressor and is often inactivated during tumor development. Results: Here, we demonstrate enhanced CpG methylation of the 14-3-3σ gene in lymph node and cutaneous melanoma metastases compared with primary tumors, associated with dramatically reduced mRNA expression. In line with this, treatment of different metastatic melanoma cell lines with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-CdR), a potent inhibitor of cytosine methylation, significantly induces 14-3-3σ protein expression. Additional treatment with histone deacetylase inhibitor 4-phenylbutyric acid (Pba) further enhances 14-3-3σ expression. Induction of 14-3-3σ expression by 5-Aza-CdR/Pba treatment leads to almost complete inhibition of cell proliferation, with cells predominantly arrested in G2-M. The antiproliferative effect of 5-Aza-CdR/Pba was reversed in 14-3-3σ knockdown cells. Similarly, melanoma cell lines stably overexpressing 14-3-3σ show dramatically reduced cell proliferation rates. Moreover, synchronous 14-3-3σ stably overexpressing cells do not progress through cell cycle, but display a permanent increase in the population of 4n DNA containing cells. Interestingly, overexpression of 14-3-3σ induces senescence of melanoma cells and is involved in melanoma cell senescence under genotoxic stress. Finally, 14-3-3σ knockdown supports migratory capacity of melanoma cells in vitro, while 14-3-3σ overexpression has opposing effects. Conclusion: Taken together, the present report indicates that epigenetic silencing of 14-3-3σ might contribute to tumor progression in malignant melanoma via loss of cell cycle control, impaired cellular senescence program and support of migratory capacity.

Original languageBritish English
Article number53
JournalMolecular Cancer
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Jul 2009

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