We previously identified novel S100A8/A9 receptors, extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer (EMMPRIN), melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM), activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM), and neuroplastin (NPTN) b, that are critically involved in S100A8/A9-mediated cancer metastasis and inflammation when expressed at high levels. However, little is known about the presence of any cancer-specific mechanism(s) that modifies these receptors, further inducing upregulation at protein levels without any transcriptional regulation. Expression levels of glycosyltransferase-encoding genes were examined by a PCR-based profiling array followed by confirmation with quantitative real-time PCR. Cell migration and invasion were assessed using a Boyden chamber. Western blotting was used to examine the protein level, and the RNA level was examined by Northern blotting. Immunohistochemistry was used to examine the expression pattern of b-1,3-galactosyl-O-glycosyl-glycoprotein b-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 3 (GCNT3) and MCAM in melanoma tissue. We found that GCNT3 is overexpressed in highly metastatic melanomas. Silencing and functional inhibition of GCNT3 greatly suppressed migration and invasion of melanoma cells, resulting in the loss of S100A8/A9 responsiveness. Among the novel S100A8/A9 receptors, GCNT3 favorably glycosylates the MCAM receptor, extending its half-life and leading to further elevation of S100A8/A9-mediated cellular motility in melanoma cells. GCNT3 expression is positively correlated to MCAM expression in patients with high-grade melanomas. Collectively, our results showed that GCNT3 is an upstream regulator of MCAM protein and indicate the possibility of a potential molecular target in melanoma therapeutics through abrogation of the S100A8/A9–MCAM axis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research