J Cancer 2019; 10(16):3582-3592. doi:10.7150/jca.30342

Research Paper

EMP2 acts as a suppressor of melanoma and is negatively regulated by mTOR-mediated autophagy

Manyi Wang1,*, Sijia Li1,*, Peng Zhang2,✉, Yujia Wang3, Chunting Wang3, Ding Bai1✉, Xian Jiang3✉

1. State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, National Clinical Research Center for Oral Disease, Department of Orthodontics and Paediatrics, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, PR China
2. Department of Radiation Oncology, Sichuan Cancer Hospital & Institute, Sichuan Cancer Center, School of Medicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Radiation Oncology Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu 610041, PR China
3. Department of Dermatology and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, PR China
* These authors contributed equally.

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Wang M, Li S, Zhang P, Wang Y, Wang C, Bai D, Jiang X. EMP2 acts as a suppressor of melanoma and is negatively regulated by mTOR-mediated autophagy. J Cancer 2019; 10(16):3582-3592. doi:10.7150/jca.30342. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v10p3582.htm

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Cutaneous melanoma is one of the most common malignant skin tumors and advanced melanoma is usually associated with a poor prognosis. In the current study, we demonstrated the tumor suppressing role of epithelial membrane protein-2 (EMP2) by inducing apoptosis in a A375 human melanoma cell line. Mechanistically, the low expression of EMP2 in melanoma is partially due to autophagic protein degradation mediated by the mTOR pathway. These results suggest there is regulation of autophagy as well as EMP2 levels might be an interesting novel targeted therapeutic strategy for melanoma. Although the further investigation is needed to deeply understand the regulatory mechanisms of EMP2 in melanoma progression and metastasis, our results clarify the functions and mechanisms of autophagy in melanoma, and shed new light on novel targeted therapeutics for melanoma.

Keywords: EMP2, mTOR, Apoptosis, Autophagy, Melanoma.