Ligand Bound Fatty Acid Binding Protein 7 (FABP7) Drives Melanoma Cell Proliferation Via Modulation of Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling

Banlanjo Abdulaziz Umaru, Yoshiteru Kagawa, Subrata Kumar Shil, Naoki Arakawa, Yijun Pan, Hirofumi Miyazaki, Shuhei Kobayashi, Shuhan Yang, An Cheng, Yifei Wang, Yasuharu Shinoda, Yukiko Kiniwa, Ryuhei Okuyama, Kohji Fukunaga, Yuji Owada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Fatty acid-binding protein 7 (FABP7) involved in intracellular lipid dynamics, is highly expressed in melanomas and associated with decreased patient survival. Several studies put FABP7 at the center of melanoma cell proliferation. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well deciphered. This study examines the effects of FABP7 on Wnt/β-catenin signaling that enhances proliferation in melanoma cells. Methods: Skmel23 cells with FABP7 silencing and Mel2 cells overexpressed with wild-type FABP7 (FABP7wt) and mutated FABP7 (FABP7mut) were used. Cell proliferation and migration were analyzed by proliferation and wound-healing assay, respectively. Transcriptional activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling was measured by luciferase reporter assay. The effects of a specific FABP7 inhibitor, MF6, on proliferation, migration, and modulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling were examined. Results: FABP7 siRNA knockdown in Skmel23 decreased proliferation and migration, cyclin D1 expression, as well as Wnt/β-catenin activity. Similarly, FABP7wt overexpression in Mel2 cells increased these effects, but FABP7mut abrogated these effects. Pharmacological inhibition of FABP7 function with MF6 suppressed FABP7-regulated proliferation of melanoma cells. Conclusion: These results suggest the importance of the interaction between FABP7 and its ligands in melanoma proliferation modulation, and the beneficial implications of therapeutic targeting of FABP7 for melanoma treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-490
Number of pages12
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar


  • MF6
  • Wnt/β-catenin signaling
  • fatty acid binding protein 7 (FABP7)
  • melanoma cells
  • proliferation


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