Semaphorin 5A drives melanoma progression: role of Bcl-2, miR-204 and c-Myb

Simona D'Aguanno, Elisabetta Valentini, Maria Grazia Tupone, Marianna Desideri, Marta Di Martile, Manuela Spagnuolo, Simonetta Buglioni, Cristiana Ercolani, Italia Falcone, Marco De Dominici, Michele Milella, Maria Giulia Rizzo, Bruno Calabretta, Carlo Cota, Andrea Anichini, Daniela Trisciuoglio, Donatella Del Bufalo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, is characterized by high rates of metastasis, drug resistance and mortality. Here we investigated the role of Semaphorin 5A (Sema5A) on the properties associated with melanoma progression and the factors involved in Sema5A regulation.

METHODS: Western blotting, qRT-PCR, Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay, immunohistochemistry of melanoma patient specimens and xenograft tissues, in vitro Transwell assay for cell migration and invasion evaluation, in vitro capillary-like structure formation analysis.

RESULTS: A significant correlation of Sema5A mRNA expression and melanoma progression was observed by analyzing GEO profile dataset. Endogenous Sema5A protein was detected in 95% of human melanoma cell lines tested, in 70% of metastatic specimens from patients affected by melanoma, and 16% of in situ melanoma specimens showed a focal positivity. We demonstrated that Sema5A regulates in vitro cell migration and invasion and the formation of vasculogenic structures. We also found an increase of Sema5A at both mRNA and protein level after forced expression of Bcl-2. By use of transcriptional and proteasome inhibitors, we showed that Bcl-2 increases the stability of Sema5A mRNA and protein. Moreover, by ChIP we demonstrated that Sema5A expression is under the control of the transcription factor c-Myb and that c-Myb recruitment on Sema5A promoter is increased after Bcl-2 overexpression. Finally, a concomitant decrease in the expression of Sema5A, Bcl-2 and c-Myb proteins was observed in melanoma cells after miR-204 overexpression.

CONCLUSION: Overall our data provide evidences supporting the role of Sema5A in melanoma progression and the involvement of Bcl-2, miR-204 and c-Myb in regulating its expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 19 2018


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