Fascin 1 is transiently expressed in mouse melanoblasts during development and promotes migration and proliferation

Development. 2013 May;140(10):2203-11. doi: 10.1242/dev.089789.


Fascins, a family of actin-bundling proteins, are expressed in a spatially and temporally restricted manner during development and often in cancer. Fascin 1 has a clear role in cell migration in vitro, but its role in vivo in mammals is not well understood. Here, we investigate the role of fascin 1 in the melanocyte lineage and in melanoma cells. Fascin 1 knockout causes hypopigmentation in adult mice owing to migration and cell cycle progression defects in melanoblasts, the melanocyte precursor cell. Study of live embryo skin explants reveals that E14.5 fascin 1-null melanoblasts migrate slower, and generate fewer and thinner pseudopods. By contrast, fascin 1 expression drives faster migration and lamellipodia protrusion in melanocytes in vitro. In addition, fascin 1 depletion retards melanoblast proliferation in vivo and melanoma cell growth in vitro. These data indicate that fascin 1 not only promotes cell migration in mouse melanocytes but it also has a role in growth and cell cycle progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Humans
  • Melanocytes / cytology*
  • Melanoma / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / physiology*
  • Pigmentation
  • Skin / pathology
  • Time Factors


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • fascin