Genetic target modulation employing CRISPR/CAS9 identifies glyoxalase 1 as a novel molecular determinant of invasion and metastasis in A375 human malignant melanoma cells in vitro and in vivo

Jana Jandova, Jessica Perer, Anh Hua, Jeremy A. Snell, Georg T. Wondrak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Metabolic reprogramming is a molecular hallmark of cancer. Recently, we have reported the overexpression of glyoxalase 1 (encoded by GLO1), a glutathione-dependent enzyme involved in detoxification of the reactive glycolytic byproduct methylglyoxal, in human malignant melanoma cell culture models and clinical samples. However, the specific role of GLO1 in melanomagenesis remains largely unexplored. Here, using genetic target modulation, we report the identification of GLO1 as a novel molecular determinant of invasion and metastasis in malignant melanoma. First, A375 human malignant melanoma cells with GLO1 deletion (A375-GLO1_KO) were engineered using CRISPR/Cas9, and genetic rescue clones were generated by stable transfection of KO clones employing a CMV-driven GLO1 construct (A375-GLO1_R). After confirming GLO1 target modulation at the mRNA and protein levels (RT-qPCR, immunodetection, enzymatic activity), phenotypic characterization indicated that deletion of GLO1 does not impact proliferative capacity while causing significant sensitization to methylglyoxal-, chemotherapy-, and starvation-induced cytotoxic stress. Employing differential gene expression array analysis (A375-GLO1_KO versus A375-GLO1_WT), pronounced modulation of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related genes [upregulated: CDH1, OCLN, IL1RN, PDGFRB, SNAI3; (downregulated): BMP1, CDH2, CTNNB1, FN1, FTH1, FZD7, MELTF, MMP2, MMP9, MYC, PTGS2, SNAI2, TFRC, TWIST1, VIM, WNT5A, ZEB1, and ZEB2 (up to tenfold; p < 0.05)] was observed—all of which are consistent with EMT suppression as a result of GLO1 deletion. Importantly, these expression changes were largely reversed upon genetic rescue employing A375-GLO1_R cells. Differential expression of MMP9 as a function of GLO1 status was further substantiated by enzymatic activity and ELISA analysis; phenotypic assessment revealed the pronounced attenuation of morphological potential, transwell migration, and matrigel 3D-invasion capacity displayed by A375-GLO1_KO cells, reversed again in genetic rescue clones. Strikingly, in a SCID mouse metastasis model, lung tumor burden imposed by A375-GLO1_KO cells was strongly attenuated as compared to A375-GLO1_WT cells. Taken together, these prototype data provide evidence in support of a novel function of GLO1 in melanoma cell invasiveness and metastasis, and ongoing investigations explore the function and therapeutic potential of GLO1 as a novel melanoma target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1369
JournalCancers
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • CMV-driven re-expression
  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Epithelial
  • Glyoxalase 1
  • Malignant melanoma
  • Matrix metalloproteinase 9
  • Mesenchymal transition
  • SCID mouse metastasis model
  • Transwell invasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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