Thrombospondin 1 (TSP1) is an angiogenesis inhibitor that decreases tumor growth. We now report that TSP1 directly inhibits the proliferation of human melanoma cells. TSP1, peptides, and a recombinant fragment from the type I repeats, but not peptides that bind CD36 or CD47, inhibit the proliferation of A2058 melanoma cells. In contrast, chemotaxis is mediated by peptides or recombinant fragments from the procollagen, type I, type III, and cell-binding domains. The antiproliferative activity of TSP1 is mediated by a different signal transduction pathway than those mediating motility responses to the same protein. Activators of protein kinase A and protein kinase C inhibit chemotaxis but not the antiproliferative activity of TSP1, whereas the antiproliferative activity is reversed by inhibiting the tyrosine kinase or phosphatase activities. TSP1-mediated chemotaxis is partially dependent on a pertussis toxin (PT)-sensitive G-binding protein, whereas haptotaxis is not. Chemotaxis stimulated by the procollagen domain and the CD47-binding sequences from the COOH-terminal domain are also sensitive to PT, but responses to the type I and type III domains are not sensitive to PT. Residual chemotaxis to TSP1 in the presence of PT may therefore be mediated by the activities of the type I or type III repeats. Thus, TSP1 elicits several intracellular signals in melanoma cells that result from interactions with several domains of this protein and differentially affect growth and motility.

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