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P-Rex1 is required for efficient melanoblast migration and melanoma metastasis

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  • Colin R. Lindsay
  • Samuel Lawn
  • Andrew D. Campbell
  • William J. Faller
  • Florian Rambow
  • Paul Timpson
  • Ang Li
  • Patrizia Cammareri
  • Rachel A. Ridgway
  • Jennifer P. Morton
  • Brendan Doyle
  • Shauna Hegarty
  • Mairin Rafferty
  • Ian G. Murphy
  • Enda W. McDermott
  • Kieran Sheahan
  • Katherine Pedone
  • Alexander J. Finn
  • Pamela A. Groben
  • Nancy E. Thomas
  • Honglin Hao
  • Craig Carson
  • Jim C. Norman
  • Laura M. Machesky
  • William M. Gallagher
  • Ian J. Jackson
  • Leon Van Kempen
  • Friedrich Beermann
  • Channing Der
  • Lionel Larue
  • Heidi C. Welch
  • Brad W. Ozanne
  • Owen J. Sansom
Article number555
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>22/11/2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Nature Communications
Number of pages9
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Metastases are the major cause of death from melanoma, a skin cancer that has the fastest rising incidence of any malignancy in the Western world. Molecular pathways that drive melanoblast migration in development are believed to underpin the movement and ultimately the metastasis of melanoma. Here we show that mice lacking P-Rex1, a Rac-specific Rho GTPase guanine nucleotide exchange factor, have a melanoblast migration defect during development evidenced by a white belly. Moreover, these P-Rex1(-/-) mice are resistant to metastasis when crossed to a murine model of melanoma. Mechanistically, this is associated with P-Rex1 driving invasion in a Rac-dependent manner. P-Rex1 is elevated in the majority of human melanoma cell lines and tumour tissue. We conclude that P-Rex1 has an important role in melanoblast migration and cancer progression to metastasis in mice and humans.