It is increasingly clear that melanoma cells modify their environment not only through the release of growth factors (GFs) and cytokines that have autocrine or paracrine effects and strongly modulate the immune response, but also by secreting proteins that become structural or transient components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Melanoma cell secreted proteins play a significant role in cell-ECM interactions, helping tumor cells to invade neighbouring stroma, disseminate and survive in other tissue contexts. CCN3/NOV (nephroblastoma overexpressed) is a matricellular protein that belongs to the CCN family of proteins containing six members in humans. Its structure consists of modules related to functional domains previously identified in major regulatory proteins: insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (IGFBP), von Willebrand factor type C repeats (VWC), thrombospondin type 1 repeats, and secreted regulatory factors containing cysteine knot motifs. Extensive studies have indicated that the biological properties of CCN3 are dependent upon the cellular context, and its role in melanoma seems to recapitulate cell context functions.
- Matricellular proteins
- Tumor microenvironment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience