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Melanoma Res. 1998 Jun;8(3):197-203.

Expression of Bcl-2 family members in human melanocytes, in melanoma metastases and in melanoma cell lines.

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Department of Radiotherapy and Radiobiology, University Hospital Vienna, Austria.


In human melanoma no complete information about the expression of the apoptosis-promoting and apoptosis-inhibiting members of the Bcl-2 family has been available to date. In this study we have investigated by Western blotting the expression pattern of Bcl-2 and its homologues Bax, Bak, Bcl-xL, Bcl-xS, Mcl-1 and Bad in 12 distant lymph node metastases from patients who have been treated by different regimes, in nine newly established cell lines of these metastases, in three cell lines obtained from other sources and in primary melanocytic cell lines from three neonatal and two adult subjects. Taken together, our data suggest that Bax, Bak, Bad, Bcl-xL and Mcl-1 are expressed in addition to Bcl-2 in both normal melanocytes and in cell lines established from melanoma metastases. Regarding the role of Bcl-2 and its homologues, our data suggest that expression of this class of proteins is widespread and qualitatively similar in melanoma cell lines and normal human melanocytes. Although the expression of these proteins might affect growth behaviour and the progression of melanomas, our results are not compatible with the hypothesis that the Bcl-2 homologues investigated play a dominant role in the process of malignant transformation of melanocytes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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