Proteoglycans (PGs) are essential components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) that are involved in cell adhesion, migration and differentiation. Their expression or structure is frequently altered in tumors, contributing ro rhe abnormal cell growth and metastasis. Human melanoma cells present a specific chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan, mel-PG, which is considered a tumor and differentiation marker, since it is present only in melanomas, but not in adult melanocytes or in other kind of tumors. We are also interested in other cell lines of neuroectodermal origin such as astrocitoma and neuroblastoma, wich can differentiate \i in vitro\i by growing in tridimensional culture or treatment with retinoic acid. Our group has described that transforming growth factor \beta (TGF-\beta) induces the synthesis and shedding of mel-PG to the medium. The main goals of this project are to investigate: 1.- The effects of TGF-\beta on differentiation, migration, adhesion and invasion ability of neuroectodermal cells. 2.- The expression of PGs during the differentiation of melanoma, astrocitoma and neurolastoma cells. 3.-The shedding of mel-PG to the medium, the mechanism by which TGF-\beta activates the shedding and its physiological role. 4.-The cDNA cloning of mel-PG and PG-L, two proteoglycans involved in cell differentiation.
|Effective start/end date||8/01/97 → 8/01/00|