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Oncogene. 2010 Jan 7;29(1):34-44. doi: 10.1038/onc.2009.305. Epub 2009 Oct 5.

The orphan tyrosine kinase receptor, ROR2, mediates Wnt5A signaling in metastatic melanoma.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Tyrosine kinase receptors represent targets of great interest for cancer therapy. Here we show, for the first time, the importance of the orphan tyrosine kinase receptor, ROR2, in melanoma progression. Using melanoma tissue microarrays, we show that ROR2 is expressed predominantly in metastatic melanoma. As ROR2 has been shown to specifically interact with the non-canonical Wnt ligand, Wnt5A, this corroborates our earlier data implicating Wnt5A as a mediator of melanoma metastasis. We show here that increases in Wnt5A cause increases in ROR2 expression, as well as the PKC-dependent, clathrin-mediated internalization of ROR2. WNT5A knockdown by siRNA decreases ROR2 expression, but silencing of ROR2 has no effect on WNT5A levels. ROR2 knockdown does, however, result in a decrease in signaling downstream of Wnt5A. Using in vitro and in vivo metastasis assays, we show that ROR2 is necessary for the Wnt5A-mediated metastasis of melanoma cells. These data imply that ROR2 may represent a novel target for melanoma therapy.

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