DNA damage-regulated autophagy modulator protein 2 (Transmembrane protein 77) [TMEM77] [PSEC0031] [UNQ154/PRO180]
Melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer that can rapidly metastasize to become fatal, if not diagnosed early. Despite recent therapeutic advances, management of melanoma remains difficult. Therefore, novel molecular targets and strategies are required to manage this neoplasm. This study was undertaken to determine the role of the sirtuin SIRT6 in melanoma. Employing a panel of human melanoma cells and normal human melanocytes, we found significant SIRT6 mRNA and protein upregulation in melanoma cells. Further, using a tissue microarray coupled with quantitative Vectra analysis, we demonstrated significant SIRT6 overexpression in human melanoma tissues. Lentiviral short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of SIRT6 in A375 and Hs 294T human melanoma cells significantly decreased cell growth, viability, and colony formation, induced G1-phase arrest and increased senescence-associated beta-galactosidase staining. As autophagy is important in melanoma and is associated with SIRT6, we used a qPCR array to study SIRT6 knockdown in A375 cells. We found significant modulation in several genes and/or proteins (decreases in AKT1, ATG12, ATG3, ATG7, BAK1, BCL2L1, CLN3, CTSB, CTSS, DRAM2, HSP90AA1, IRGM, NPC1, SQSTM1, TNF, and BECN1; increases in GAA, ATG10). Our data suggests that increased SIRT6 expression may contribute to melanoma development and/or progression, potentially via senescence-and autophagy-related pathways.