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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Overexpression of Chromatin Assembly Factor-1/p60 helps to predict the prognosis of melanoma patients

Massimo Mascolo1, Maria Luisa Vecchione1, Gennaro Ilardi1, Massimiliano Scalvenzi25, Guido Molea35, Maria Di Benedetto4, Loredana Nugnes1, Maria Siano1, Gaetano De Rosa156 and Stefania Staibano15*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biomorphological and Functional Sciences, Pathology Section, University of Naples "Federico II", School of Medicine, Naples, Italy

2 Department of Systematic Pathology, Section of Dermatology, Allergology and Venereology, University of Naples "Federico II", School of Medicine, Naples, Italy

3 Department of Systematic Pathology, Section of Plastic Surgery, University of Naples "Federico II", School of Medicine Naples, Italy

4 Department of Medicine, University of Naples "Federico II", School of Medicine, Naples, Italy

5 Cooperative Melanoma Intergroup, University of Naples "Federico II", School of Medicine, Naples, Italy

6 CROB, Oncology Research Center of Basilicata, Rionero in Vulture, Potenza, Italy

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:63  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-63

Published: 24 February 2010

Abstract

Background

Cutaneous melanoma (CM) is the most lethal form of skin malignancy, which registers a constant increase in incidence worldwide. The identification of molecular alteration(s) involved in its biological aggressiveness represents a major challenge for researchers, considering that existing therapies are ineffective to treat metastasizing cases. The epigenetic control of chromatin dynamics during DNA synthesis, replication, and repair is fundamental for the orderly progression of cell proliferation. The Chromatin Assembly Factor 1 (CAF-1) complex acts as a major regulator of this process; its intermediate (p60) subunit has been recently proposed as a novel proliferation and prognostic marker for several tumors. We aimed to establish if the evaluation of the expression of CAF-1/p60 in primary CM may help define the prevision of outcome of patients.

Methods

Immunohistochemistry with anti-CAF-1/p60 was performed on paraffin-embedded tissue sections of 130 cases of primary CM retrieved from the archive files of the Department of Biomorphological and Functional Sciences, Section of Pathology, University "Federico II" of Naples, Italy. Results were compared with histopathological and follow-up data of patients.

Results

CAF-1/p60 was expressed in all CM. A significant statistical association between the overexpression of the protein and the occurrence of skin, node and/or distant metastases (P < 0.05) emerged, independently from histopathological prognostic factors.

Conclusions

CAF-1/p60 looks promising as a new prognostic marker for CM and sheds new light on the molecular events associated with photocancerogenesis and melanoma biology.

The screening for CAF-1/p60 might contribute to the molecular sub-classification of CM, with improved translational outcomes.