Expression of Tissue Factor by Melanoma Cells Promotes Efficient Hematogenous Metastasis
Metastasis is a multistep process which requires highly adapted interactions of tumor cells with host target organs. Compared with nonmetastatic cells, metastatic human melanoma cells express 1000-fold higher levels of tissue factor (TF), the major cellular initiator of the plasma coagulation protease cascades. To explore whether TF may contribute to metastatic tumor dissemination, we analyzed the effect of specific inhibition of TF function on human melanoma metastasis in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. Using species-specific antibodies to TF, we demonstrate that initial adherence is insufficient for successful tumor cell implantation in a target organ. Rapid arrest of human tumor cells in the lungs of mice was not diminished by inhibition of TF. However, inhibition of TF receptor function and consequent reduction in local protease generation abolished prolonged adherence of tumor cells, resulting in significantly reduced numbers of tumor cells retained in the vasculature of the lungs. The growth of pulmonary metastases was also significantly inhibited by a blocking anti-TF monoclonal antibody and Fab fragments thereof, whereas a noninhibitory antibody lacked antimetastatic effects. Cell surface expression of functional TF thus contributes to melanoma progression by allowing metastatic cells to provide requisite signals for prolonged adhesive interactions and/or transmigration of tumor cells across the endothelium, resulting in successful metastatic tumor implantation.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
- Pub Date:
- December 1992