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Involvement of the mRNA binding protein CRD-BP in the regulation of metastatic melanoma cell proliferation and invasion by hypoxia
Evisabel A. Craig, Jonathan D. Weber, Vladimir S. Spiegelman


We have previously shown that the mRNA binding protein CRD-BP is overexpressed in human melanomas, where it promotes cell survival and resistance to chemotherapy. The present study investigates the role of hypoxia, a common characteristic of the tumor microenvironment, in the regulation of CRD-BP expression and melanoma cell responses. We found that hypoxia increases CRD-BP levels in metastatic melanoma cell lines but not in melanocytes or primary melanoma cells. Hypoxic stimulation transcriptionally regulates CRD-BP by facilitating the acetylation of histones within the CRD-BP gene and by modulating the extent of HIF1α binding to the CRD-BP promoter. Hypoxia significantly enhances the proliferative and invasive potential of metastatic melanoma cells but not that of normal or primary melanoma cells. Furthermore, inhibition of CRD-BP impairs the ability of metastatic cells to proliferate and invade in response to hypoxia. These findings identify CRD-BP as a novel effector of hypoxic responses that is relevant for the selection of metastatic cells. This work also describes a previously unknown role for CRD-BP in the regulation of melanoma cell invasion and highlights the importance of the hypoxic microenvironment in determining cell fate.


  • Accepted September 8, 2012.
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