In the present report, the possible role of a recently described functional polymorphism of the osteopontin (OPN) promoter at position -443 (-443T/C) for OPN expression in melanoma cells was addressed. As shown by real-time PCR analysis, melanoma metastases that were homozygous for the -443C allele expressed significantly higher levels of OPN mRNA compared with those that were either heterozygous (-443T/C) or homozygous for the -443T allele. In line with this, immunoblotting showed significantly enhanced baseline and bFGF-induced OPN protein expression in melanoma cell lines which were homozygous for the -443C allele, compared with cell lines with other allelic variants. Similar results were obtained in in vitro luciferase assays. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) demonstrated binding of c-Myb to the -443 OPN promoter region, and binding could significantly be enhanced after bFGF stimulation. Moreover, as shown by electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA), recombinant DNA-binding domain of c-Myb bound in a sequence-specific manner to this region. Finally, the role of c-Myb for OPN gene regulation via binding to the -443 promoter region could be further substantiated by ectopic overexpression of c-Myb in melanoma cells, using different reporter gene constructs. Taken together, it is demonstrated that the -443 promoter region exerts influence on OPN gene expression in melanoma cells, and differential binding of c-Myb transcription factor appears to play a major role in this process. These findings might be a feasible explanation for different OPN expression levels in metastatic tumors and may also have prognostic and therapeutic relevance.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)