Expression of gp185(HER-2) in human cutaneous melanoma: Implications for experimental immunotherapeutics

P. G. Natali, M. R. Nicotra, G. Digiesi, R. Cavaliere, A. Bigotti, D. Trizio, O. Segatto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over-expression of the HER-2 oncogene correlates with poor prognosis in breast and ovarian carcinomas. Using a sensitive immunohistochemical assay, we have detected low levels of gp185(HER-2) in intradermal nevi (78%) and in primary (75%) and metastatic melanomas (58%). The HER-2 gene product expressed by cultured melanoma cells had the expected molecular weight, but no levels of tyrosine phosphorylation could be detected. Consistently, we were unable to inhibit in vitro growth of melanoma cells with an anti- gp185(HER-2) MAb, in conditions in which the growth of SKBr-3 breast- carcinoma cells was severely impaired. However, immunotoxins to gp185(HER-2) were able to kill gp185(HER-2)-positive melanoma cells. These data indicate that low levels of gp185(HER-2) are expressed by the melanocyte lineage, with no correlation with transformation or tumor progression. Nevertheless, gp185(HER-2) appears a suitable target for immunotherapy of cutaneous melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-346
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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