Androgen receptor promotes melanoma metastasis via altering the miRNA-539-3p/USP13/MITF/AXL signals

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Abstract

Early studies demonstrated that male melanoma patients have worse survival than female patients, yet the detailed mechanisms for this gender difference remain unclear. We analyzed around 100 cases of human melanoma and found that androgen receptor (AR) positive melanoma patients have worse survival outcomes compared with AR-negative melanoma patients. Here we report that AR can have positive roles to increase melanoma cell invasion in multiple cell lines in vitro and a mouse model in vivo. Mechanism dissection suggest that AR increases melanoma cell invasion via modulating the MITF-AXL signals via altering the miRNA-539–3p/USP13 signaling to increase MITF protein degradation through a reduction of de-ubiquitination. Restoring MITF can reverse AR-enhanced melanoma cell invasion. Together, our results demonstrate that AR can promote melanoma metastasis via altering the miRNA-539–3p/USP13/MITF/AXL signal and targeting this newly identified signal with AR degradation enhancer ASC-J9 may help us to better suppress the melanoma metastasis.

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