Location, location, location: the BRMS1 protein and melanoma progression
1 Advocate Christ Medical Center, Advocate Cancer Institute, Oak Lawn, IL, USA
2 Department Oncologic Sciences, Mitchell Cancer Institute, University South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA
BMC Medicine 2012, 10:19 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-19Published: 22 February 2012
The metastasis suppressor, BRMS1, has been demonstrated to cause dramatic regression of metastatic lesions without blocking orthotopic tumor growth. The role of BRMS1 is well-documented for several non-melanoma malignancies, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer. However, its role in melanoma is just beginning to be understood, with a recent article by Slipicevic et al. highlighting the levels of expression of BRMS1 in benign nevi, primary and metastatic melanoma samples. Their findings emphasize that the intracellular location of BRMS1 protein (cytoplasmic or nuclear), appears to have a significant impact upon the metastatic capacity of melanoma cells. Interestingly, this selective localization translates into a statistically significant decrease in the relapse-free period in melanoma patients, further associated with a thicker Breslow's depth of primary melanomas. However, and more importantly, this study begins to define a clearer role for BRMS1 in melanoma that is strictly dependent upon its cellular location, with nuclear expression associated with invasive and metastatic capacity and cytoplasmic expression resulting in repressive effects upon progression and metastasis.