Open Access Research article

Pirin delocalization in melanoma progression identified by high content immuno-detection based approaches

Silvia Licciulli1, Chiara Luise2, Andrea Zanardi3, Luca Giorgetti1, Giuseppe Viale45, Luisa Lanfrancone1, Roberta Carbone3* and Myriam Alcalay15*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Experimental Oncology, Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Via Adamello 16, 20139, Milan, Italy

2 IFOM, Fondazione Istituto FIRC di Oncologia Molecolare, Via Adamello 16, 20139, Milan, Italy

3 Tethis S.r.l., Via Russoli 3, 20143 Milan, Italy

4 Division of Anatomo-Pathology, Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Via Ripamonti 435, 20141, Milan, Italy

5 Dipartimento di Medicina, Chirurgia ed Odontoiatria, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via A. Di Rudinì 8, 20142 Milan, Italy

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BMC Cell Biology 2010, 11:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-11-5

Published: 20 January 2010



Pirin (PIR) is a highly conserved nuclear protein originally isolated as an interactor of NFI/CTF1 transcription/replication factor. It is a member of the functionally diverse cupin superfamily and its activity has been linked to different biological and molecular processes, such as regulation of transcription, apoptosis, stress response and enzymatic processes. Although its precise role in these functions has not yet been defined, PIR expression is known to be deregulated in several human malignancies.


We performed immunohistochemical analysis of PIR expression in primary samples from normal human tissues and tumors and identified a dislocation of PIR to the cytoplasm in a subset of melanomas, and a positive correlation between cytoplasmic PIR levels and melanoma progression. PIR localization was subsequently analyzed in vitro in melanoma cell lines through a high content immunofluorescence based approach (ImmunoCell-Array).


The high consistency between in vivo and in vitro results obtained by immunohistochemistry and ImmunoCell-Array provides a validation of the potential of ImmunoCell-Array technology for the rapid screening of putative biological markers, and suggests that cytoplasmic localization of PIR may represent a characteristic of melanoma progression.