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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2013 Feb;27(2):142-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2012.04579.x. Epub 2012 May 23.

MicroRNAs in the pathogenesis of malignant melanoma.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. glud.martin@gmail.com


Cutaneous malignant melanoma is the most aggressive and lethal form of skin cancer. Over the past decades, its incidence has been increasing by 3-8% per year in western countries while mortality has stabilized. Melanoma is a heterogenous disease and can be subclassified based on distinct clinical characteristics, histopathological features and mutation patterns within NRAS and BRAF genes. Recent data indicate that microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in the pathogenesis of malignant melanoma. MiRNAs are small, non-coding, regulatory RNA molecules expressed in a tissue and cell specific manner and are known to play a crucial role in cell homeostasis and carcinogenesis. MiRNAs might prove to be powerful cancer biomarkers and future therapeutic targets. In this review, we focused on the miRNA involvement in four molecular pathways known to be deregulated in malignant melanoma, including the RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK pathway, the p16(INK4A) -CDK4-RB pathway, the PIK3-AKT pathway and the MITF pathway.

© 2012 The Authors. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology © 2012 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

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