V3 versican isoform alters the behavior of human melanoma cells by interfering with CD44/ErbB-dependent signaling

Daniel Hernández, Laia Miquel-Serra, María José Docampo, Anna Marco-Ramell, Jennifer Cabrera, Angels Fabra, Anna Bassols

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Versican is a hyaluronan-binding, extracellular chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan produced by several tumor types, including malignant melanoma, which exists as four different splice variants. The short V3 isoform contains the G1 and G3 terminal domains of versican that may potentially interact directly or indirectly with the hyaluronan receptor CD44 and the EGFR, respectively. We have previously described that overexpression of V3 in MeWo human melanoma cells markedly reduces tumor cell growth in vitro and in vivo. In this study we have investigated the signaling mechanism of V3 by silencing the expression of CD44 in control and V3-expressing melanoma cells. Suppression of CD44 had the same effects on cell proliferation and cell migration than those provoked by V3 expression, suggesting that V3 acts through a CD44-mediated mechanism. Furthermore, CD44-dependent hyaluronan internalization was blocked by V3 expression and CD44 silencing, leading to an accumulation of this glycosaminoglycan in the pericellular matrix and to changes in cell migration on hyaluronan. Furthermore, ERK1/2 and p38 activation after EGF treatment were decreased in V3-expressing cells suggesting that V3 may also interact with the EGFR through its G3 domain. The existence of a EGFR/ErbB2 receptor complex able to interact with CD44 was identified in MeWo melanoma cells. V3 overexpression resulted in a reduced interaction between EGFR/ErbB2 and CD44 in response to EGF treatment. Our results indicate that the V3 isoform of versican interferes with CD44 and the CD44-EGFR/ErbB2 interaction, altering the signaling pathways, such as ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK, that regulate cell proliferation and migration. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1475-1485
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2011


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