Activation of alpha2-Adrenergic Receptor by (R,R’)-4′-Methoxy-1-Naphthylfenoterol Inhibits Proliferation and Motility of Melanoma Cells


Wnorowski, A., Sadowska, M., Paul, R. K., Singh, N. S., Boguszewska-Czubara, A., Jimenez, L., . . . Wainer, I. W. (2015). Activation of beta2-adrenergic receptor by (R,R’)-4′-methoxy-1-naphthylfenoterol inhibits proliferation and motility of melanoma cells. Cellular Signalling, 27(5), 997-1007. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2015.02.012


(R,R’)-4′-methoxy-1-naphthylfenoterol [(R,R’)-MNF] is a highly-selective β2 adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) agonist. Incubation of a panel of human-derived melanoma cell lines with (R,R’)-MNF resulted in a dose- and time-dependent inhibition of motility as assessed by in vitro wound healing and xCELLigence migration and invasion assays. Activity of (R,R’)-MNF positively correlated with the β2-AR expression levels across tested cell lines. The anti-motility activity of (R,R’)-MNF was inhibited by the β2-AR antagonist ICI-118,551 and the protein kinase A inhibitor H-89. The adenylyl cyclase activator forskolin and the phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor Ro 20-1724 mimicked the ability of (R,R’)-MNF to inhibit migration of melanoma cell lines in culture, highlighting the importance of cAMP for this phenomenon. (R,R’)-MNF caused significant inhibition of cell growth in β2-AR-expressing cells as monitored by radiolabeled thymidine incorporation and xCELLigence system. The MEK/ERK cascade functions in cellular proliferation, and constitutive phosphorylation of MEK and ERK at their active sites was significantly reduced upon β2-AR activation with (R,R’)-MNF. Protein synthesis was inhibited concomitantly both with increased eEF2 phosphorylation and lower expression of tumor cell regulators, EGF receptors, cyclin A and MMP-9. Taken together, these results identified β2-AR as a novel potential target for melanoma management, and (R,R’)-MNF as an efficient trigger of anti-tumorigenic cAMP/PKA-dependent signaling in β2-AR-expressing lesions.

Keywords: Beta blocker; Beta2 adrenoreceptor selective agonist; Melanocortin 1 receptor; Melanocyte; Metastasis; Migration.

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