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Oncogene. 2006 Jan 5;25(1):103-10.

Expression of Hugl-1 is strongly reduced in malignant melanoma.

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Institute of Pathology, University Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.


The human gene Hugl-1 (Llgl/Lgl1) has significant homology to the Drosophila tumor suppressor gene lethal(2)giant larvae (lgl). The lgl gene codes for a cortical cytoskeleton protein, Lgl, that is involved in maintaining cell polarity and epithelial integrity. We speculate that Hugl-1 might play a role in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and that loss of Hugl-1 expression plays a role in the development or progression of malignant melanoma. Thus, we evaluated melanoma cell lines and tissue samples of malignant melanoma for loss of Hugl-1 transcription. We found that Hugl-1 was downregulated or lost in all cell lines and in most of the tumor samples analysed, and that these losses were associated with advanced stage of the disease. Reduced Hugl-1 expression occurred as early as in primary tumors detected by both immunohistochemical and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. Functional assays with stable Hugl-1-transfected cell lines revealed that Hugl-1 expression increased cell adhesion and decreased cell migration. Further, downregulation of MMP2 and MMP14 (MT1-MMP) and re-expression of E-cadherin was found in the Hugl-1-expressing cell clones supporting a role of Hugl-1 in EMT. Our studies thus indicate that loss of Hugl-1 expression contributes to melanoma progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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