MAR 25, 2019 10:59 AM PDT

Discovery of Biomarker Target for Melanoma

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

According to a study published in the journal Cancer Research, researchers have discovered a biomarker that could serve as a possible therapeutic target for melanoma. The marker is microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF)—which is is a protein that plays a crictcal role in the maintenance of the melanocyte lineage (cells that make melanin), as well as the differentiation of normal and malignant melanocytes and melanoma cell survival.

Melanoma in skin biopsy with H&E stain — this case may represent superficial spreading melanoma. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

"We have now detected the first useful chemical inhibitor of MITF," said corresponding author Rhoda Alani, MD, the Herbert Mescon Chair of Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine.

Over the past decade genetic mutations in human melanomas have been extensively examined—regardless, the role of epigenetic alterations in the development and progression of melanomas is still not well understood.

Specifically, scientists discovered that the inhibition of the epigenetic p300 Histone Acetyltransferase (HAT) enzyme stops the growth of human melanoma cells and cells that express the MITF protein are sensitive to this inhibition. The inhibition can hold many broad implications for the treatment of pigmented lesions in the skin which could potentially be used for the topical treatment of hyperpigmentation.

The study opens the doors to the endless pursuit for additional epigenetic approaches to cancers.

"When human melanoma cell lines were evaluated for growth effects using the chemical inhibitor of p300 HAT, the cell lines that were most sensitive to drug treatment were those that expressed high levels of MITF suggesting that MITF expression levels can predict melanoma sensitivity to such therapies," explained Alani, who also is chief of dermatology at Boston Medical Center.

Source: EurekAlert

About the Author
  • Nouran enjoys writing on various topics including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
NOV 17, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
NOV 17, 2019
Compound in Daffodils Can Help Fight Cancer
Preventing the growth of tumors presents a challenge for scientists in finding a cure to cancer. Now however, researchers from the University Libre de Brux...
NOV 17, 2019
Microbiology
NOV 17, 2019
Potential New Antibiotic Discovered in Soil-Dwelling Microbe
Many of our best antibiotics have come from microbes, which have to use them to battle other microorganisms in a struggle for resources....
NOV 17, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
NOV 17, 2019
Tailor-made Drug for Girl with Rare Genetic Disease
Researchers have used personalized medicine to develop a tailor-made genetic treatment for a girl diagnosed with a rare genetic disease known as Batten dis...
NOV 17, 2019
Technology
NOV 17, 2019
New Encapsulation Technology
Research at the University of Waterloo has concluded new encapsulation technology that can offer an inexpensive, and effective method for coating liquid me...
NOV 17, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
NOV 17, 2019
Novel Therapeutic For Eradicating The Flu Virus
Public Health officials have long warned about pandemic pathogens flying fast around the world. One virus already spreads across the globe annually leading...
NOV 17, 2019
Neuroscience
NOV 17, 2019
The Women Who Can Smell Without Olfactory Bulbs
Until now, it has been commonly accepted that our sense of smell depends on the transmission of olfactory information from the nose to the olfactory bulb i...
Loading Comments...