Loss of miR-204 expression is a key event in melanoma

Marco Galasso, Carl Morrison, Linda Minotti, Fabio Corrà, Carlotta Zerbinati, Chiara Agnoletto, Federica Baldassari, Matteo Fassan, Armando Bartolazzi, Andrea Vecchione, Gerard J. Nuovo, Gianpiero Di Leva, Stefania D'Atri, Ester Alvino, Maurizio Previati, Brian J. Nickoloff, Carlo M. Croce, Stefano Volinia

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


Cutaneous melanoma (CM) is a malignancy with increasing occurrence. Its microRNA repertoire has been defined in a number studies, leading to candidates for biological and clinical relevance: miR-200a/b/c, miR-203, miR-205, miR-204, miR-211, miR-23b and miR-26a/b. Our work was aimed to validate the role of these candidate miRNAs in melanoma, using additional patients cohorts and in vitro cultures. miR-26a, miR-204 and miR-211 were more expressed in normal melanocytes, while miR-23b, miR-200b/c, miR-203 and miR-205 in epidermis and keratinocytes. None of the keratinocyte-related miRNAs was associated with any known mutation or with clinical covariates in melanoma. On the other hand, the loss of miR-204 was enriched in melanomas with NRAS sole mutation (Fisher exact test, P = 0.001, Log Odds = 1.67), and less frequent than expected in those harbouring CDKN2A mutations (Fisher exact test, P = 0.001, Log Odds - 1.09). Additionally, miR-204 was associated with better prognosis in two independent melanoma cohorts and its exogenous expression led to growth impairment in melanoma cell lines. Thus, miR-204 represents a relevant mechanism in melanoma, with potential prognostic value and its loss seems to act in the CDKN2A pathway, in cooperation with NRAS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number71
JournalMolecular Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 9 2018


  • BRAF
  • Breslow
  • CDKN2A
  • Keratinocyte
  • Melanocyte
  • Melanoma
  • MicroRNA
  • Non coding rna
  • NRAS
  • Somatic alterations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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