Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type





Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology

First Advisor

Dr. David M. Kaetzel


The metastasis suppressor gene NM23-H1 has been shown to possess three enzymatic activities including nucleoside diphosphate kinase, histidine-dependent protein kinase and 3’-5’ exonuclease activity. While these properties have been demonstrated in vitro using recombinant proteins, the contribution of these activities to suppression of metastatic dissemination is unknown. Site-directed mutagenesis studies were used to identify amino acid residues which are required for proper function of each enzymatic activity associated with H1, providing a platform for studying the importance of each function on an individual basis. To assess the relevance of these activities to melanoma progression, a panel of mutants harboring selective lesions disrupting the enzymatic activities of H1 were overexpressed using stable transfection in two melanoma cell lines, WM793 (isolated from a vertical growth phase human melanoma), and the metastatic derivative cell line 1205LU. In vitro correlates of metastasis measuring motility and invasion were used in an attempt to identify the mechanism mediating H1-dependent motility suppression of cancer cells. Surprisingly, all mutants studied retained full motility suppression in this setting, suggesting that the enzymatic functions associated with H1 are not required for inhibiting cell migration. Instead, gene expression analyses conducted on the panel of stable transfectants indicate that differences in steady-state mRNA levels of genes involved in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling showed significant correlations with H1 expression and motility suppression. RNAi studies have confirmed that H1-dependent modulation of the expression of two genes in particular, BRAP and IQGAP2, contribute to the observed phenotype, suggesting a novel mechanism used by NM23 to control cellular migration in human melanoma.



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