Differential expression of thrombospondin 2 in primary and metastatic malignant melanoma

Manfred Kunz*, D. Koczan, S. M. Ibrahim, R. Gillitzer, G. Gross, H. J. Thiesen

*Corresponding author for this work
12 Citations (Scopus)


In the present report we used oligonucleotide microarray analysis for the identification of genes characterizing the late-stage metastatic phenotype of malignant melanoma. A panel of 5,600 genes was analysed in a low aggressive and a highly aggressive (metastatic) human malignant melanoma cell line, respectively. More than 300 differentially regulated genes were identified. High metastatic potential correlated with upregulated mRNA expression in the groups of cytoskeletal proteins, apoptosis and cell cycle proteins, GTP binding proteins and oncogenes, extracellular ligands and receptors, transcription and translation factors. In contrast, most angiogenesis factors, extracellular matrix molecules, and melanoma-specific antigens were downregulated. Particular target genes were further analysed by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical staining of primary malignant melanomas and melanoma metastases. Here, we show that thrombospondin 2, an extracellular matrix molecule which was differentially regulated in the microarray analysis, was strongly expressed in melanoma metastases, but not in primary tumours. The identification of thrombospondin 2 as a target molecule emphasizes the importance of cell-matrix interactions for the pathogenesis of malignant melanoma metastasis and may open future perspectives for treatment of this tumour.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Dermato-Venereologica
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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