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Orlow SJ , Hearing VJ , Sakai C , Urabe K , Zhou BK , Silvers WK , Mintz B
Changes in Expression of Putative Antigens Encoded by Pigment Genes in Mouse Melanomas at Different Stages of Malignant Progression
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 1995 Oct 24;92(22) :10152-10156
PMID: ISI:A1995TB46700045   
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Cutaneous melanomas of Tyr-SV40E transgenic mice (mice whose transgene consists of the tyrosinase promotor fused to the coding regions of simian virus 40 early genes) strikingly resemble human melanomas in their development and progression. Unlike human melanomas, the mouse tumors all arise in genetically identical individuals, thereby better enabling expression of specific genes to be characterized in relation to advancing malignancy. The products of pigment genes are of particular interest because peptides derived from these proteins have been reported to function as autoantigens with immunotherapeutic potential in some melanoma patients. However, the diminished pigmentation characteristic of many advanced melanomas raises the possibility that some of the relevant products may no longer be expressed in the most malignant cells. We have therefore investigated the contributions of several pigment genes in melanotic vs, relatively amelanotic components of primary and metastatic mouse melanomas. The analyses reveal marked differences within and among tumors in levels of mRNAs and proteins encoded by the wild-type alleles at the albino, brown, slaty, and silver loci. Tyrosinase (the protein encoded by the albino locus) was most often either absent or undetectable as melanization declined. The protein encoded by the slaty locus (tyrosinase-related protein 2) was the only one of those tested that was clearly present in all the tumor samples. These results suggest that sole reliance on targeting tyrosinase-based antigens might selectively favor survival of more malignant cells, whereas targeting the ensemble of the antigens tested might contribute toward a more inclusive and effective antimelanoma strategy.
Times Cited: 21 Article TB467 PROC NAT ACAD SCI USA