MCAM is a novel metastasis marker and regulates spreading, apoptosis and invasion of ovarian cancer cells
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- Wu, Z., Wu, Z., Li, J. et al. Tumor Biol. (2012) 33: 1619. doi:10.1007/s13277-012-0417-0
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Melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM) is a cell adhesion molecule that is abnormally expressed in a variety of tumours and is closely associated with tumour metastasis. The role of MCAM in ovarian cancer development has not been fully studied. In this study, through immunohistochemical staining of ovarian cancer tissue samples and RNA interference to silence MCAM in ovarian cancer cells, we examined the impact of MCAM on the biological functions of ovarian cancer cells and attempted to reveal the role of MCAM in ovarian cancer development. Our results showed that MCAM expression was particularly high in metastatic ovarian cancers compared with other pathological types of ovarian epithelial tissues. After MCAM silencing in the MCAM high-expression ovarian cancer cell line SKOV-3, the cell apoptosis was increased, whereas the cell spreading and invasion were significantly reduced, which may be related with dysregulation of small RhoGTPase (RhoA and Cdc42).These results suggest that MCAM expression in ovarian cancer is highly correlated with the metastatic potential of the cancer. MCAM is likely to participate in the regulation of the Rho signalling pathway to protect ovarian cancer cells from apoptosis and promote their malignant invasion and metastasis. Therefore, MCAM can be used not only as a molecular marker to determine the prognosis of ovarian cancer but also as a therapeutic target in metastatic ovarian cancer.