Modulation of CXCL-8 expression in human melanoma cells regulates tumor growth, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis



Rakesh K. Singh, Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 985900 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-5900. Tel: 402-559-9949; Fax: 402-559-5900; E-mail:


CXCL-8, a chemokine secreted by melanoma and stromal cells, serves as a growth and angiogenic factor for melanoma progression. This study evaluated how modulation of CXCL-8 levels in melanoma cell lines with different tumorigenic and metastatic potentials affected multiple tumor phenotypes. A375P cells (CXCL-8 low expressor) were stably transfected with a CXCL-8 mammalian expression vector to overexpress CXCL-8, whereas A375SM cells (CXCL-8 high expressor) were transfected with a CXCL-8 antisense expression vector to suppress CXCL-8 expression. Subsequent cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and soft-agar colony formation were analyzed, and in vivo tumor growth and metastasis were evaluated using mouse xenograft models. Our data demonstrate that overexpression of CXCL-8 significantly enhanced primary tumor growth and lung metastasis, accompanied by increased microvessel density in vivo, as compared with vector control-transfected cells. We also observed increased clonogenic ability, growth, and invasive potential of CXCL-8 overexpressing cells in vitro. Knockdown of CXCL-8 using an antisense vector resulted in increased cell death and reduced tumor growth relative to control. Taken together, these data confirm that CXCL-8 expression plays a critical role in regulating multiple cellular phenotypes associated with melanoma growth and metastasis.