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J Cutan Pathol. 1997 Mar;24(3):151-6.

Expression of the nm23 metastasis-suppressor gene product in skin tumors.

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Department of Dermatology, Hôpital Ed. Herriot, Lyon, France.


Nm23 is a gene with a putative metastasis-suppressor function, whose expression is inversely correlated with the metastatic potential of some solid malignancies. Because very few data exist concerning the role of nm23 in skin tumors, we studied the immunohistochemical expression of nm23 gene product in frozen sections of normal skin and of 104 cutaneous benign or malignant, epithelial and mesenchymal tumors. Nm23 was found expressed within basal cells of the epidermis and its appendages. All basal cell carcinomas showed diffuse immunoreactivity predominating within cells located at the periphery of tumor masses; in contrast, most squamous cell carcinomas, premalignant lesions and the benign epithelial lesions studied showed very weak, if any, immunoreactivity. Benign nevi and most malignant melanomas expressed nm23 immunoreactivity and the pattern observed was similar between primary and metastatic lesions. These results show that nm23 is differentially expressed in cutaneous tumors. It seems likely that the strong immunoreactivity of basal cell carcinomas, contrasting with the almost non-expression in squamous cell carcinomas, reflects the different metastatic potential of these two types of tumors. In melanomas, no direct correlation between the metastatic phenotype and nm23 expression could be detected. Our results suggest that the nm23 gene is involved in cutaneous carcinogenesis; its precise role deserves further study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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