During melanoma cell extravasation through the vascular endothelium, melanoma cells interact with endothelial cells through secretion of cytokines and by adhesion between proteins displayed on opposing cell surfaces. How these tumor cell associated signals together regulate the dynamics of intracellular signaling pathways within endothelial cells leading to endothelial cell-cell junction disruption is not well understood. Here, we used a combination of experimental and computational approaches to examine the individual and combined effects of activation of the vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, interleukin (IL)-8, and IL-1β signaling pathways on the integrity of vascular junctions. Our simulations predict a multifaceted interplay of signaling resulting from individual activation of VCAM-1, IL-8 and IL-1β pathways that is neither synergistic nor additive compared to all inputs turned on simultaneously. Furthermore, we show that the levels of phosphorylated proteins associated with actinomyosin contractility and junction disassembly peak prior to those related to actin remodeling. The results of this work provide insight into the dynamics of tumor-mediated endothelial junction disassembly and suggest that targeting proteins downstream of several interaction pathways may be the most effective therapeutic approach to reduce melanoma extravasation.
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