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J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Aug;130(8):2062-70. doi: 10.1038/jid.2010.63. Epub 2010 Apr 1.

MicroRNA expression profiles associated with mutational status and survival in malignant melanoma.

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Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


Malignant cutaneous melanoma is a highly aggressive form of skin cancer. Despite improvements in early melanoma diagnosis, the 5-year survival rate remains low in advanced disease. Therefore, novel biomarkers are urgently needed to devise new means of detection and treatment. In this study, we aimed to improve our understanding of microRNA (miRNA) deregulation in melanoma development and their impact on patient survival. Global miRNA expression profiles of a set of melanoma lymph node metastases, melanoma cell lines, and melanocyte cultures were determined using Agilent array. Deregulated miRNAs were evaluated in relation with clinical characteristics, patient survival, and mutational status for BRAF and NRAS. Several miRNAs were differentially expressed between melanocytes and melanomas as well as melanoma cell lines. In melanomas, miR-193a, miR-338, and miR-565 were underexpressed in cases with a BRAF mutation. Furthermore, low expression of miR-191 and high expression of miR-193b were associated with poor melanoma-specific survival. In conclusion, our findings show miRNA dysregulation in malignant melanoma and its relation to established molecular backgrounds of BRAF and NRAS oncogenic mutations. The identification of an miRNA classifier for poor survival may lead to the development of miRNA detection as a complementary prognostic tool in clinical practice.

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