Affiliations: [a] Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, Department of Radiopharmaceutical and Chemical Biology, Dresden, Germany
| [b] Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, Department of Radionuclide Theragnostics, Dresden, Germany
| [c] Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Chemistry and Food Chemistry, Dresden, Germany
Corresponding author: Prof. Dr. Jens Pietzsch, Department of Radiopharmaceutical and Chemical Biology, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Bautzner Landstraße 400, 01328 Dresden, Germany. Tel.: +49 351 260 2622; Fax: +49 351 260 4922; E-mail: [email protected].
Note:  Birgit Belter and Jens Pietzsch shared senior authorship.
Abstract: BACKGROUND:Malignant melanoma is the most malignant skin neoplasm due to early metastasis and resistance to currently available therapies. Inflammatory tumor infiltrate, particularly macrophages, are of outstanding importance for melanoma progression and therapy response. EphB4 receptor and its preferred ligand EphrinB2 are also associated with melanoma progression, metastasis, and therapy resistance. OBJECTIVE:The aim of our study was to systematically investigate the role of EphB4 for melanoma cell adhesion and migration, also in the presence of macrophages, considering experimental i) EphB4 overexpression, ii) EphB4 activation, iii) inhibition of EphB4 and EphrinB2 interaction, and iv) inhibition of EphB4 and downstream signaling. RESULTS:Overexpression of EphB4 resulted in increased A375 melanoma cell adhesion showing EphrinB2 reverse signaling rather than EphB4 forward signaling being responsible. By contrast, A375 melanoma cell migration was not affected by EphB4 overexpression and effects due to modulation of EphB4/EphrinB2 signaling were inconsistent. In co-culture experiments macrophages (HL-60(M)) showed substantial influence on adhesion and migration of A375 cells. However, HL-60(M)-mediated effects could not be assigned to EphB4/EphrinB2 signaling, but rather to cytokine signaling pathways. CONCLUSIONS:Under the used experimental settings EphB4 is important for adhesion, but not for the migration of A375 melanoma cells. Macrophages influenced adhesion and migration of melanoma cells but without significant involvement of EphB4/EphrinB2 signaling.