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Retinoblastoma-binding protein 2-homolog 1: a retinoblastoma-binding protein downregulated in malignant melanomas.

Roesch A., Becker B., Meyer S., Wild P., Hafner C., Landthaler M., Vogt T.

In malignant melanomas, the loss of cell cycle control is thought to be due to a lack of retinoblastoma protein (pRb)-activity. Members of the previously described family of retinoblastoma-binding proteins (RBPs) are supposed to act as pRb-modulating factors. Based on RNA-fingerprinting of normal human melanocytes, we previously described a new family member with high sequence homology to the retinoblastoma-binding protein-2 (RBP-2), termed RBP2-Homolog 1 (RBP2-H1). Based on its UVB responsiveness, it was hypothesized that this gene may also play a role in melanocytic tumors. In the present study, we can confirm by real-time RT-PCR (six common melanocytic nevi, five advanced nodular melanomas and seven melanoma metastases) and immunohistochemistry (tissue microarrays: 52 melanocytic nevi, 60 melanomas, 60 metastases; and conventional sections: five common nevi, four advanced nodular melanomas, five melanoma metastases) that RBP2-H1 expression is progressively downregulated in advanced and metastatic melanomas in vivo with a certain intratumoral heterogeneity. Whereas benign melanocytic nevi are RBP2-H1 positive in about 70% of the cases, a lack of RBP2-H1 expression was found in 90% of the primary malignant melanomas and 70% of the melanoma metastases, respectively. Interestingly, a similar deficiency can be found in glioblastomas, but not epithelial cancers. In accordance to the in vivo data, established melanoma cell lines exhibit low but heterogeneous levels of RBP2-H1 expression. By co-immunoprecipitation, we provide the first evidence that a subfraction of total RBP2-H1 can bind to pRb, which makes this protein a true pRb-interacting factor. We conclude that loss of RBP2-H1 is a common finding in the progression of malignant melanomas. Since a direct interaction of RBP2-H1 and pRb seems possible, the loss of RBP2-H1 may possibly contribute to uncontrolled growth in malignant melanomas.

Mod. Pathol. 18:1249-1257(2005) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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