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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Cell Death and Disease, Volume 10, Issue 4, April 2019, Article number 281.

The published version is available at Copyright © Hartsough et al.


Metastatic cancer remains a clinical challenge; however, patients diagnosed prior to metastatic dissemination have a good prognosis. The transcription factor, TWIST1 has been implicated in enhancing the migration and invasion steps within the metastatic cascade, but the range of TWIST1-regulated targets is poorly described. In this study, we performed expression profiling to identify the TWIST1-regulated transcriptome of melanoma cells. Gene ontology pathway analysis revealed that TWIST1 and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) were inversely correlated with levels of cell adhesion molecule 1 (CADM1). Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) studies and promoter assays demonstrated that TWIST1 physically interacts with the CADM1 promoter, suggesting TWIST1 directly represses CADM1 levels. Increased expression of CADM1 resulted in significant inhibition of motility and invasiveness of melanoma cells. In addition, elevated CADM1 elicited caspase-independent cell death in non-adherent conditions. Expression array analysis suggests that CADM1 directed non-adherent cell death is associated with loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and subsequent failure of oxidative phosphorylation pathways. Importantly, tissue microarray analysis and clinical data from TCGA indicate that CADM1 expression is inversely associated with melanoma progression and positively correlated with better overall survival in patients. Together, these data suggest that CADM1 exerts tumor suppressive functions in melanoma by reducing invasive potential and may be considered a biomarker for favorable prognosis.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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