In melanoma, a phenotype switch from proliferation to invasion underpins metastasis, the major cause of melanoma-associated death. The transition from radial to vertical growth phase (invasive) melanoma is characterized by downregulation of both E-cadherin (CDH1) and MITF and upregulation of the key cancer-associated gene TBX3 and the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase signaling pathway. Yet, whether and how these diverse events are linked remains poorly understood. Here, we show that TBX3 directly promotes expression of ID1, a dominant-negative regulator of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, and that ID1 decreases MITF binding and upregulation of CDH1. Significantly, we show that TBX3 activation of ID1 is necessary for TBX3 to enhance melanoma cell migration, and the mechanistic links between TBX3, ID1, MITF, and invasion revealed here are reflected in their expression in human melanomas. Our results reveal that melanoma migration is promoted through a TBX3-ID1-MITF-E-cadherin axis and that ID1-mediated repression of MITF activity may reinforce maintenance of an MITFLow phenotype associated with disease progression and therapy resistance.
J Invest Dermatol
2250 - 2260.e2
Cadherins, Carcinogenesis, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Movement, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Humans, Inhibitor of Differentiation Protein 1, Melanoma, Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor, Signal Transduction, Skin Neoplasms, T-Box Domain Proteins, Transcriptional Activation