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Open AccessArticle

Extracellular Protease ADAMTS1 Is Required at Early Stages of Human Uveal Melanoma Development by Inducing Stemness and Endothelial-Like Features on Tumor Cells

1
GENYO. Centre for Genomics and Oncological Research: Pfizer/Universidad de Granada/Junta de Andalucía. Avda. de la Ilustración, 114, 18016 Granada, Spain
2
Department of Statistics and Operational Research, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2020, 12(4), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12040801 (registering DOI)
Received: 5 February 2020 / Revised: 21 March 2020 / Accepted: 24 March 2020 / Published: 27 March 2020
Extracellular matrix remodeling within the tumor microenvironment has been recognized as a relevant dynamic framework during tumor growth. However, research on proteases that trigger this remodeling keeps revealing a wide range of actions including both pro- and anti-tumorigenic. The extracellular protease ADAMTS1 exemplifies this dual role. In this work, we first confirmed a positive correlation of ADAMTS1 with endothelial-like phenotype of human melanoma cells together with the finding of associated signatures, including key genes such as endothelial CDH5. Using a CRISPR-Cas9 approach, we observed that the inhibition of ADAMTS1 in an aggressive uveal melanoma model compromised its endothelial-like properties, and more importantly, caused a robust blockade on the progression of tumor xenografts. Although vasculature emerged affected in ADAMTS1-deficient tumors, the most relevant action implied the downregulation of endothelial CDH5 in tumor cells, in association with stemness markers. Indeed, melanoma sphere assays also revealed a deficient commitment to form spheres in the absence of ADAMTS1, directly correlating with stemness markers and, remarkably, also with CDH5. Finally, taking advantage of advanced bioinformatics tools and available public data of uveal melanomas, we disclosed new prognosis factors, including endothelial elements and ADAMTS proteases. Our findings support the key role of ADAMTS proteases for uveal melanoma development since earlier stages, modulating the complex crosstalk between extracellular matrix and the induction of stemness and endothelial-like features. To our knowledge, this is the first report that supports the development of therapeutic targets on the extracellular matrix to overcome uveal melanoma.
Keywords: ADAMTS; cancer stem cell; endothelial-like phenotype; extracellular matrix; vasculogenic mimicry ADAMTS; cancer stem cell; endothelial-like phenotype; extracellular matrix; vasculogenic mimicry
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Peris-Torres, C.; Plaza-Calonge, M.C.; López-Domínguez, R.; Domínguez-García, S.; Barrientos-Durán, A.; Carmona-Sáez, P.; Rodríguez-Manzaneque, J.C. Extracellular Protease ADAMTS1 Is Required at Early Stages of Human Uveal Melanoma Development by Inducing Stemness and Endothelial-Like Features on Tumor Cells. Cancers 2020, 12, 801.

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