Gene Mutation May Be Key to Melanoma Chemotherapy Sensitivity

Rutao Cui M. D., Ph. D.  Vice Chair, Professor,  Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutic Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Dermatology, and Member The Cancer Center Director The Laboratory of Skin Cancer Therapeutics (LSCT) Boston Interview with:
Rutao Cui M. D., Ph. D. 
Vice Chair, Professor
Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutic
Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Dermatology, and Member The Cancer Center
Director The Laboratory of Skin Cancer Therapeutics (LSCT)
Boston University

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Cui: Recent studies have revealed that the APC/CCdh1 E3 ubiquitin ligase may function as a tumor suppressor. However, the tumor suppressor role of APC/CCdh1 in melanoma remains largely unclear. Here, we report sporadic mutations occurring in APC components, including Cdh1 in human melanoma samples and that loss of APC/CCdh1 may predispose human melanomagenesis.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Cui: We believe that our studies will provide important insights into molecular genetics of melanoma. More importantly, our results could lead to the identification of novel preventive strategies and therapeutic targets for melanoma.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Cui: Significantly, our experimental studies indicate that Cdh1 expression correlates with the chemo-therapeutic sensitivity of melanoma cells. This study therefore provides the rationale that will guide the identification of novel therapeutic strategies for melanoma clinical treatments.

Our ultimate goal is to reduce melanoma mortality through the discovery of effective and targeted small molecules for acral melanoma treatment. We believe that the results derived from our proposed study will provide a solid foundation towards successfully achieving our goal.


The E3 ligase APC/CCdh1 promotes ubiquitylation-mediated proteolysis of PAX3 to suppress melanocyte proliferation and melanoma growth

Sci. Signal.  01 Sep 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 392, pp. ra87
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aab1995

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Last Updated on September 4, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD