Inhibition of coding region determinant binding protein sensitizes melanoma cells to chemotherapeutic agents


Vladimir Spiegelman, e-mail:


We previously reported that malignant melanomas express high levels of the mRNA binding protein coding region determinant binding protein (CRD-BP). This molecule is important for the activation of anti-apoptotic pathways, a mechanism often linked to insensitivity to therapeutics. However, it is not known whether CRD-BP plays a role in the resistance of melanomas to anti-cancer treatment. Here we demonstrate that knockdown of CRD-BP with a specific sh-RNA enhances the effect of dacarbazine, temozolomide, vinblastine, and etoposide on both primary and metastatic melanoma cell lines. CRD-BP down-regulation contributes to cell sensitization by increasing apoptosis and diminishing melanoma cell growth in response to chemotherapeutic agents. Furthermore, inhibition of CRD-BP decreases microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) expression and reintroduction of MITF partially compensates for the absence of CRD-BP. These findings suggest that high expression of CRD-BP in melanoma cells confers resistance to chemotherapy and that these CRD-BP responses are mediated, at least in part, by MITF.