Kallikrein-related peptidase 7 overexpression in melanoma cells modulates cell adhesion leading to a malignant phenotype

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We recently reported that human melanoma cells, but not benign melanocytes, aberrantly express kallikrein-related peptidase 7 (KLK7). Here, we show a KLK7 overexpression-mediated decrease of cell adhesion to extracellular matrix binding proteins, associated with downregulation of α5/β1/αv/β3 integrin expression. We also report an up-regulation of MCAM/CD146 and an increase in spheroid formation of these cells. Our results demonstrate that aberrant KLK7 expression leads to a switch to a more malignant phenotype suggesting a potential role of KLK7 in melanoma invasion. Thus, KLK7 may represent a biomarker for melanoma progression and may be a potential therapeutic target for melanoma.

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