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Vet J. 2013 May;196(2):226-30. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.09.005. Epub 2012 Oct 13.

KIT gene exon 11 mutations in canine malignant melanoma.

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Department of Pathology, St. Martin De Porres Hospital, Chiayi 60069, Taiwan.


The proto-oncogene KIT encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase which has been shown to be upregulated in canine melanomas. KIT mutations lead to constitutive phosphorylation and activation of KIT in the absence of ligand binding. The presence of KIT mutations and KIT protein expression was examined in a cohort of 49 dogs with canine malignant melanoma. An exon 11 synonymous nucleotide 1743C→T mutation was identified in five cases in which one also harbored a L579P mutation. Tumors that harbored the KIT exon 11 mutation(s) correlated significantly with disease recurrence (P = 0.05). All 36 melanomas available for immunohistochemical analysis showed either weak (16 cases, 44.4%) or strong (20 cases, 55.6%) expression of the KIT protein. The five KIT mutation carriers were all strongly positive for KIT by immunohistochemical staining. These findings suggest that a subset of canine malignant melanomas harbors a KIT exon 11 mutation.

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