SOX9 and SOX10 but Not BRN2 Are Required for Nestin Expression in Human Melanoma Cells
Flammiger, A and Besch, R and Cook, AL and Maier, T and Sturm, RA and Berking, C, SOX9 and SOX10 but Not BRN2 Are Required for Nestin Expression in Human Melanoma Cells, The Journal of Investigative Dermatology: An International Journal for Research in Cutaneous Biology, 129, (4) pp. 945-953. ISSN 0022-202X (2009) [Refereed Article]
Nestin is an intermediate filament protein and a marker of neuroectodermal stem cells indicating multipotentiality and regenerative capability. In melanoma tissues, nestin re-expression was correlated with tumor progression. Activation of the nestin neural enhancer was shown to be dependent on the binding of class III POU transcription factors, with brain-2 (BRN2) suggested to play a key role. We found both nestin and BRN2 mRNA in almost all of 13 analyzed melanoma cell lines of different progression stages, but expression levels did not correlate. Nestin protein was detected in 11 of 13 and BRN2 protein in 7 of 13 melanoma cell lines independent of progression stage. Downregulation of BRN2 by small-interfering RNA did not alter nestin expression in melanoma cells. However, POU proteins, such as BRN2, commonly cooperate with transcription factors of the Sry-box (SOX) family by binding to a nearby DNA site necessary for their action. SOX9 and SOX10 have been shown to be expressed in melanocyte precursors, with SOX10 downregulated upon differentiation. We now demonstrate SOX9 and SOX10 protein expression in melanoma tissues and cell lines. Downregulation of SOX9 and of SOX10 markedly decreased nestin levels in melanoma cells in a cooperative manner. Thus, SOX9 and SOX10 but not BRN2 seem to be required for nestin expression in human melanoma.