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Keywords:

  • melanoma;
  • menin;
  • pleiotrophin;
  • RPTP β/ζ

Abstract

Substantial genetic evidence suggests that chromosome 11q is involved in regulating initiation and progression of malignant melanomas. Mutations of the MEN1 gene, located in chromosome 11q13, predispose individuals to the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) familial syndrome. MEN1 patients develop primary malignant melanoma, suggesting a potential link between MEN1 syndrome and development of melanomas, but the precise molecular mechanism is poorly understood. Here we show that the MEN1 gene suppresses malignant phenotypes of melanoma cells through multiple signalling pathways. Ectopic expression of menin, the product of MEN1 gene, significantly inhibited melanoma cell proliferation and migration in vitro and in vivo. The inhibition was partly achieved through suppressing expression of growth factor pleiotrophin (PTN) and receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase (RPTP) β/ζ, accompanied with the reduced expression of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (pI3K) and decreased phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK1/2). Interestingly, reduced expression of menin was associated with hypermethylation of the CpG islands of the MEN1 promoter in melanoma cells. Taken together, these findings suggest a previously unappreciated function for menin in suppressing malignant phenotypes of melanomas and unravel a novel mechanism involving in regulating PTN signalling by menin in development and progression of melanomas.