Identification of differentially expressed messenger RNAs in human melanocytes and melanoma cells

Hans Georg Simon, Barbara Risse, Monika Jost, Simone Oppenheimer, Csaba Kari, Ulrich Rodeck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The phenotype of malignant lesions is a reflection of genetic events altering the RNA and protein expression patterns of normal cells. We have investigated RNA expression patterns distinguishing normal melanocytes (FM 902), a primary melanoma cell line (WM 793), and its variant cell line (1205- LU), selected for metastatic phenotype in athymic mice. Using mRNA differential display, we identified 42 different cDNA PCR products with cell line-specific expression patterns. Direct sequence analysis matched approximately 50% of the cDNA PCR products with gene sequences accessible in DNA databases. Among the known genes, two functionally distinct groups were recognized: (a) genes encoding ribosomal and mitochondrial proteins that were predominantly up-regulated in the malignant cells; and (b) genes encoding modulators of the immune response. Among the immunomodulators, the T-cell antigen MART-1 and the protease inhibitor α2-macroglobulin were detected in the melanocyte cell line but not in the tumor cells. By contrast, mRNAs for the complement inhibitor CD59 and the cytokine IL-1β were found to be overexpressed in the malignant melanoma cells. RNA slot blot hybridization on a larger panel of melanocyte and melanoma cell lines confirmed differential expression of 15 of 42 genes including MART-1, α2-macroglobulin, and CD59. This molecular screening approach identified also three partially characterized and three novel sequences with differential expression patterns in normal and malignant melanocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3112-3117
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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