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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Apaf-1 expression in human cutaneous melanoma progression and in pigmented nevi.

Malignant melanoma is notoriously refractive to therapy and resistant to apoptosis. This may reflect the downregulation of Apaf-1, an important mediator of mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis, observed in vitro in melanoma cell lines and by immunohistochemistry for Apaf-1 protein in histological samples of primary and metastatic melanomas. Although it has been suggested that loss of Apaf-1 expression may be an indicator of malignant transformation in melanoma, previous studies on Apaf-1 expression in benign pigmented nevi were performed without reference to their histologic type. Here we have evaluated the expression of Apaf-1 mRNA by fluorescence in situ hybridization and of Apaf-1 protein by immunohistochemistry in a large panel of human melanomas and in eight types of pigmented nevi, considered potential precursors for cutaneous melanoma. We observe a strong negative correlation between melanoma progression assessed according to Clark classification and the expression of Apaf-1. A significant decrease in Apaf-1 expression was observed between Clark II and Clark III lesions, the stages usually associated with a transition from horizontal to vertical growth phase of melanoma. There was also statistically significant difference in Apaf-1 mRNA expression between melanomas of Breslow thickness <1 mm and >4 mm. No Apaf-1 expression could be detected in lymph node melanoma metastases. These results suggest that Apaf-1 expression may become a prognostic marker for progress of human cutaneous melanoma and further support the notion that loss of Apaf-1 may be an important contributory factor in the development of the disease.[1]


  1. Apaf-1 expression in human cutaneous melanoma progression and in pigmented nevi. Niedojadło, K., Łabedzka, K., Łada, E., Milewska, A., Chwirot, B.W. Pigment Cell Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
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