Analysis of APAF-1 expression in human cutaneous melanoma progression

Alfonso Baldi, Daniele Santini, Patrizia Russo, Caterina Catricalà, Ada Amantea, Mauro Picardo, Fabiana Tatangelo, Gerardo Botti, Emanuele Dragonetti, Raffaele Murace, Giuseppe Tonini, Pier Giorgio Natali, Feliciano Baldi, Marco G. Paggi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


APAF-1 plays a pivotal role in mitochondria-dependent apoptosis, binding to cytochrome c and favoring activation of caspase-9. It has been shown that epigenetic silencing of the APAF-1 gene is a common event in several metastatic melanoma cells in vitro. We determined, by Western blot, variation in the level of expression of APAF-1 in several human melanoma cell lines and, by immunohistochemistry, in a group of 106 histological samples including benign and malignant melanocytic lesions. We observed APAF-1 down-regulation or loss of expression in two metastatic melanoma cell lines, compared to primary melanoma cell lines. The immunohistochemical analysis revealed a significant difference in APAF-1 staining between nevi and melanomas. In addition, we found a significant negative correlation between APAF-1 expression level and tumor thickness and between primary melanomas and metastases. We conclude that loss of APAF-1 expression can be considered as an indicator of malignant transformation in melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


  • APAF-1
  • Melanoma
  • Tumor progression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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