Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 115–128 | Cite as

Cell adhesion receptor expression during melanoma progression and metastasis

  • Ian R. Hart
  • Mary Birch
  • John F. Marshall


Many steps in melanoma metastasis involve cell-cell or cell-matrix adhesive interactions. The surface molecules which mediate these processes therefore play an important role in regulating melanoma dissemination and their level of expression may alter during the course of tumor progression. Human melanocyte strains and melanoma cell lines have been characterised with regard to levels of cell surface receptors of the integrin family. Increased amounts of at least two integrins, VLA-4 (α4β1) and VnR (αVβ3), appeared to correlate with progression in this tumor, type. A novel VnR composed of an αVβ1 association has been observed in one melanoma cell line and there is the possibility that heterogeneity of integrin composition could affect biological behavior of these tumors.

CD44, a cell surface glycoprotein which functions as the major receptor for hyaluronate, is another molecule whose expression increases in transformed cells of the melanocytic lineage. Iterative sorting on the FACS for stable variants, of both human and murine melanomas, expressing low and high levels of CD44 established that lack of expression of this molecule correlated with impaired ability to form pulmonary tumor nodules subsequent to i.v. injection into appropriate recipient mice. These findings illustrate that an understanding of the regulation of melanoma adhesion receptors could provide insights into the process of tumor spread.

Key words

adhesion CD44 hyaluronate receptor integrins metastasis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian R. Hart
    • 1
  • Mary Birch
    • 1
  • John F. Marshall
    • 1
  1. 1.Imperial Cancer Research Fund LaboratoriesLincoln's Inn FieldsLondonUK

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