Deleted in malignant brain tumours 1 (DMBT1), a candidate tumour suppressor gene located on chromosome 10q25.3-q26.1, has recently been identified and found to be deleted in several different types of human tumours. In melanomas, the chromosomal region 10q22-qter is commonly affected by losses, hence we screened primary melanoma samples for losses of heterozygosity (LOH), and acquired melanocytic naevi and melanomas for transcription of DMBT1 and protein expression. Of 38 informative melanomas, 1 nodular melanoma and 2 subcutaneous metastases showed LOH of both microsatellites flanking the gene, suggesting loss of 1 DMBT1 allele. Three further melanomas showed LOH at 1 informative locus but were heterozygous for the second marker. Applying reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), DMBT1 transcription was not found in melanomas. However, DMBT1 transcription was also absent from the majority of naevi from which melanomas frequently arise, making down-regulation of gene transcription during transformation from naevus to melanoma unlikely. Immunohistochemistry showed nerves, sweat glands and the stratum spinosum of the epidermis to be DMBT1 protein positive, whereas the naevi and melanoma cells themselves were negative. All considered, the candidate tumour suppressor gene DMBT1 does not appear to be a major inactivation target in the development of melanomas.
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel