Wild-type p53 gene transfer inhibits invasion and reduces matrix metalloproteinase-2 levels in p53-mutated human melanoma cells

Elena Toschi, Rossella Rota, Annalisa Antonini, Guido Melillo, Maurizio C. Capogrossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The tumor suppressor gene p53 has inhibitory effects on cell growth and angiogenesis and induces apoptosis when overexpressed in melanoma and in a variety of tumor cells by adenovirus-mediated gene transfer. The invasive ability of tumor cells, facilitating local infiltration and metastasis, is related to matrix metalloproteinase levels. In melanoma, matrix metalloproteinase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 have a prominent role in this process. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether wild-type p53 overexpression, obtained by a recombinant adenovirus vector (AdCMV.p53), affects cell invasiveness through modulation of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9. Two human melanoma cell lines were used in this study: the SK-MEL-110, carrying a mutated p53 gene, and the SK-MEL-147, carrying the wild-type p53 gene. SK-MEL-110 cells infected with AdCMV.p53 exhibited decreased invasion capability from day 1 after infection, compared with cells not infected or infected with the control vector AdCMV.Null. This reduced invasiveness was associated with decreased matrix metalloproteinase-2 levels in conditioned media whereas no changes were detected in matrix metalloproteinase-9 secreted levels. No modulation in matrix metalloproteinase-2 mRNA levels was detectable, however, after wild-type p53 gene transfer. Furthermore, protein expression of secreted tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 was not altered by AdCMV.p53 treatment. In contrast, in SK-MEL-147 cells, AdCMV.p53 did not affect cell invasiveness and levels of secreted matrix metalloproteinase-2. Gene transfer of wild-type p53 inhibited proliferation of both cell lines, showing that also SK-MEL-147 cells respond to wild-type p53 overexpression. This novel mechanism of action of wild-type p53 gene transfer may contribute to its antitumor effect by downregulating cell invasion and matrix metalloproteinase-2 secreted levels in mutated p53 human melanoma cell lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1188-1194
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Gene therapy
  • Recombinant adenovirus
  • Tumor invasiveness
  • Tumor suppressor genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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