Neuropilin-1 as therapeutic target for malignant melanoma

Grazia Graziani, Pedro M. Lacal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) is a transmembrane glycoprotein that acts as a co-receptor for various members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family. Its ability to bind or modulate the activity of a number of other extracellular ligands, such as class 3 semaphorins, TGF-ß, HGF, FGF, and PDGF, has suggested the involvement of NRP-1 in a variety of physiological and pathological processes. Actually, this co-receptor has been implicated in axon guidance, angiogenesis, and immune responses. NRP-1 is also expressed in a variety of cancers (prostate, lung, pancreatic, or colon carcinoma, melanoma, astrocytoma, glioblastoma, and neuroblastoma), suggesting a critical role in tumor progression. Moreover, a growing amount of evidence indicates that NRP-1 might display important functions independently of other VEGF receptors. In particular, in the absence of VEGFR-1/2, NRP-1 promotes melanoma invasiveness, through the activation of selected integrins, by stimulating VEGF-A and metalloproteinases secretion and modulating specific signal transduction pathways. This review is focused on the role of NRP-1 in melanoma aggressiveness and on the evidence supporting its use as target of therapies for metastatic melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Issue numberJUN
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Angiogenesis
  • Cell-penetrating peptides
  • Melanoma
  • Metastasis
  • Neuropilin-1
  • Peptidomimetics
  • T regulatory cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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