By using human melanoma and glioblastoma cell lines and their derivative BCL-XL overexpressing clones, we investigated the role of BCL-XL in aggressive features of these two tumor histotypes. We found that in both models, BCL-XL overexpression increased in vitro cell migration and invasion and facilitated tumor cells to form de novo vasculogenic structures. Furthermore, BCL-XL overexpressing cells exhibited higher tumors sphere formation capacity and expressed higher levels of some stem cell markers, supporting the concept that BCL-XL plays essential roles in the maintenance of cancer stem cell phenotype. BCL-XL expression reduction by siRNA, the exposure to a BCL-XL-specific inhibitor and the use of a panel of human melanoma cell lines corroborated the evidence that BCL-XL regulates tumor progression-associated properties. Finally, the vascular markers and the vasculogenic mimicry were up-regulated in the BCL-XL overexpressing xenografts derived from both tumor histotypes. In conclusion, our work brings further support to the understanding of the malignant actions of BCL-XL and, in particular, to the concept that BCL-XL promotes stemness and contributes to the aggressiveness of both melanoma and glioblastoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research