The incidence of melanoma has dramatically increased in many countries (it is 4.5 cases every 100 000 inhabitants in Sicily) and Xq27 region contains genes important in cancer like the SPANX (sperm protein associated with the nucleus in the X chromosome) gene family. These genes, made up of two exons separated by an intron of about 650 base pair, are expressed in sperm cells and in many tumours, including melanoma. These observations suggested that SPANX genes, or some of them, may be involved in melanoma development. The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic variability of SPANX-B and SPANX-C in a sample of Sicilian male population including patients with melanoma of the skin and controls. A total of 99 patients were enrolled in this study. They included: 17 male patients with cutaneous melanoma and 82 normal males. Semiquantitative fluorescent multiplex PCR dosage analysis was carried out to identify the variety of classes of SPANX-B and SPANX-C genes. Sixteen and 13 genetic classes were detected for SPANX-B and SPANX-C genes, respectively. A statistical significant difference for a particular class of SPANX-C gene was found comparing patients with melanoma and controls (P=0.011). Further investigations should be conducted to confirm these observations and to evaluate the possible implication of other genes of the region Xq27-28 in melanoma.
- Sperm protein associated with the nucleus in the X chromosome B gene
- Sperm protein associated with the nucleus in the X chromosome C gene
- Xq27 region
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research