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The initial site of melanoma cell metastasis is frequently the regional lymph nodes, and the appearance of lymph node metastasis correlates with poor prognosis. Lymph node adhesion is mediated by an interaction between the tumor cell integrin alphavbeta3 and lymph node vitronectin. In this study, we explored the relationship between adhesion and proteolysis by examining the direct effect of vitronectin receptor ligation on matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) production by B16F1 and B16F10 melanoma cells. We report a dose-dependent increase in secretion of both MMP-2 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP-2) in response to vitronectin. Cellular invasiveness was also enhanced by vitronectin, as shown by the increased ability of vitronectin-treated cells to invade a synthetic basement membrane (Matrigel). Both the vitronectin-induced MMP-2 production and vitronectin-enhanced invasion were blocked by the peptide ligand Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser (RGDS). Furthermore, neither plasmin-degraded vitronectin nor the peptide ligand RGDS stimulated MMP-2 secretion or invasiveness, indicating that a multivalent ligand-receptor interaction rather than simple receptor occupancy was required for MMP-2 induction. MMP-2 and MMP-2/TIMP-2 interaction with the plasma membrane of melanoma cells resulted in enhanced catalytic activity against 14C-labeled gelatin, suggesting that membrane association may function in posttranslational regulation of MMP-2 activity. This is supported by data showing increased cellular invasion by cells containing membrane-bound MMP-2. Binding of proMMP-2 and proMMP-2/TIMP-2 to melanoma cells was not inhibited by RGDS, and melanoma cell adhesion to vitronectin was unaffected by pro- or active MMP-2, indicating that MMP-2 did not interact with the murine vitronectin receptor. Together, these data provide evidence for a functional link between adhesion and proteolysis and suggest a potential mechanism whereby adhesion of an invasive cell to the extracellular matrix regulates subsequent invasive behavior.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biol Chem

Publication Date





143 - 149


Animals, Enzyme Induction, Gelatinases, Matrix Metalloproteinase 2, Melanoma, Experimental, Metalloendopeptidases, Mice, Neoplasm Invasiveness, Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2, Tumor Cells, Cultured, Vitronectin