Metastasis suppressor NME1 regulates melanoma cell morphology, self-adhesion and motility via induction of fibronectin expression

Marián Novak, Mary Kathryn Leonard, Xiuwei H. Yang, Anjan Kowluru, Alexey M. Belkin, David M. Kaetzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Expression of the metastasis suppressor NME1 in melanoma is associated with reduced cellular motility and invasion in vitro and metastasis in vivo, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are not completely understood. Herein, we report a novel mechanism through which NME1 controls melanoma cell morphology via upregulation of the extracellular matrix (ECM) protein fibronectin. Expression of NME1 strongly suppressed cell motility in melanoma cell lines 1205LU and M14. The resulting sedentary phenotype was associated with a more flattened appearance and marked increases in actin stress fibre and focal adhesion formation. NME1-induced focal adhesions were colocalized with dense deposits of fibronectin, which were absent or minimal in the corresponding NME1-deficient parental lines. NME1 was a strong inducer of fibronectin mRNA and protein expression, shown with reciprocal approaches of forced NME1 expression and shRNA-mediated knock-down. Increased synthesis and ECM deposition of fibronectin was necessary for NME1-induced cell spreading, as knock-down of fibronectin opposed the effects of NME1 on cell morphology. Fibronectin knock-down also reversed the ability of NME1 to promote aggregation when cells were plated on a non-adherent substratum. Similarly, inhibiting activation of the fibronectin receptor integrin α4β1 with an anti-α4 antibody reversed the motility-suppressing effect of NME1. A positive correlation was observed between NME1 and fibronectin mRNA in clinical biopsies of normal skin, benign nevi and primary melanomas, but not in metastatic forms, suggesting the NME1/fibronectin axis represents a barrier to melanoma progression. In summary, these findings indicate fibronectin is an important effector of the motility-suppressing function of NME1 in melanoma cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-461
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Authors Experimental Dermatology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Fibronectin
  • Melanoma
  • Motility
  • NME1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology


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