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Oncogene. 1995 Aug 17;11(4):691-700.

The brn-2 gene regulates the melanocytic phenotype and tumorigenic potential of human melanoma cells.

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  • 1Queensland Cancer Fund Research Unit, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, Australia.

Erratum in

  • Oncogene 1995 Dec 7;11(11):2457.


The Oct transcription factors N-Oct-3 and N-Oct-5 are differentially expressed in normal melanocytes, melanoma tumors and cell lines. We have cloned the human brn-2 gene and have shown that it encodes both the N-Oct-3 and N-Oct-5 octamer binding activities detected in melanoma cells. The brn-2 genomic locus has been mapped to chromosome 6q16 and although chromosomal aberrations are common in this region in melanoma, no deletion or rearrangement of the brn-2 gene in melanoma cell lines was observed. Sequencing of the entire gene showed that there are no intervening sequences within the open reading frame. Antisense RNA-mediated inhibition of brn-2 gene expression in melanoma cells was associated with a change in morphology and loss of melanocytic and neural crest markers, including the melanocyte transcription factor microphthalmia and the TYRP pigmentation genes. In addition, loss of brn-2 in these cells resulted in the complete loss of ability to form tumors in SCID and nu/nu mice. These results suggest roles for brn-2 in the determination of the melanocytic lineage and in the tumorigenic phenotype of melanoma.

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