The glutamate release inhibitor riluzole decreases migration, invasion, and proliferation of melanoma cells

Maithao N. Le, Joseph L.K. Chan, Stephen A. Rosenberg, Adam S. Nabatian, Kim T. Merrigan, Karine A. Cohen-Solal, James S. Goydos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to examine the effects of metabotropic glutamate receptor-1 (GRM1) blockade on melanoma anchorage-independent growth and invasion. We performed colony and invasion assays using GRM1-expressing melanoma lines and the GRM1-negative UACC930 line. Using the glutamate-release inhibitor Riluzole or the non-competitive GRM1 antagonist BAY 36-7620 we were able to induce considerable inhibition of colony formation and invasion in GRM1-expressing melanoma lines. Neither pharmacological agent induced significant reduction in colony formation or invasion in the GRM1-negative melanoma line, UACC930. Additionally we assessed the efficacy of these inhibitors to inhibit the growth of fresh melanoma tumor samples cultured on a 74-m nylon mesh. Both Riluzole and BAY 36-7620 significantly inhibited tumor cell growth into the interstitial spaces of the mesh. When repeated with normal mole samples both inhibitors were much less effective in preventing the outgrowth of cells. These experiments show that a specific antagonist of GRM1 (BAY 36-7620) or an inhibitor of glutamate release (Riluzole) can significantly suppress melanoma migration, invasion and colony formation as well as inhibit the proliferation of fresh melanoma cells. These findings, added to our previous work, strengthen the case that GRM1 is a valid therapeutic target in patients with melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2240-2249
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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