Plexin B1 inhibits integrin-dependent pp125FAK and Rho activity in melanoma


G. Scott, e-mail:


Semaphorins are secreted and membrane bound proteins that regulate axon guidance through receptors Plexins and neuropilins. Plexin B1, the Semaphorin 4D receptor, is a recently described tumor suppressor protein for melanoma. We recently showed that Plexin B1 abrogates activation of the oncogenic receptor, c-Met, by its ligand, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), in melanoma. We have now investigated the effect of Plexin B1 on integrin-dependent pp125FAK activation, and the small GTP-binding protein Rho, in melanoma. Integrin receptors and Rho play critical roles in melanoma progression, through regulation of migration, proliferation and apoptosis. We engineered two human melanoma cell lines expressing Plexin B1 and analyzed integrin-dependent migration, integrin-dependent pp125FAK activation, and Rho activity. Results show that Plexin B1 abrogates integrin-dependent migration and activation of pp125FAK. We also show that Rho activity is significantly reduced in cells expressing Plexin B1, and that Plexin B1 suppresses HGF-dependent Rho activation.