Brief Reports:

The macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF)-homologue D-dopachrome tautomerase is a therapeutic target in a murine melanoma model

Sebastian Kobold _, Melanie Merk, Luisa Hofer, Philip Peters, Richard Bucala and Stefan Endres

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:103-107. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.1560

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Sebastian Kobold1,*, Melanie Merk1,*, Luisa Hofer1, Philip Peters1, Richard Bucala2 and Stefan Endres1

1 Center of Integrated Protein Science Munich (CIPS-M) and Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Internal Medicine IV, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany, Member of the German Center for Lung Research

2 Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, United States of America

* These authors contributed equally to this work


Sebastian Kobold, email:

Keywords: Cytokine, MIF, cancer, apoptosis

Received: October 31, 2013 Accepted: December 10, 2013 Published: December 12, 2013


The macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF)-homologue D- dopachrome tautomerase (D-DT) recently has been described to have similar functions as MIF. However, the role of D-DT, as opposed to MIF, in tumor biology remains unknown. We hypothesized that D-DT could represent a target for therapeutic interventions in cancer. We analyzed the production of D-DT in the murine melanoma model B16F10 and the murine breast cancer model 4T1 by western blot and ELISA. D-DT was released by tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo. RT-PCR revealed the expression of the D-DT receptor CD74 on both tumor cell lines. Tumor bearing mice had higher serum levels of D-DT compared to healthy controls. Remarkably, knock-down of D-DT by siRNA reduced proliferation of B16F10 cells in BrDU-assay and rendered them more prone to apoptosis induction, as shown by flow cytometry. In vivo neutralization of D-DT by antibodies reduced tumor progression in the B16F10 subcutaneous syngeneic tumor model. In summary, we could show that D-DT and its receptor are expressed in the murine tumors B16F10 and 4T1. Knock-down of D-DT through siRNA or blocking by antibodies reduced proliferation of B16F10 tumor cells. This qualifies D-DT for further evaluation as a therapeutic target.

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