Involvement of cadherins 7 and 20 in mouse embryogenesis and melanocyte transformation

Oncogene. 2004 Sep 2;23(40):6726-35. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1207675.


We have determined the expression profiles of cdh7, and the related cdh20 during development. Both transcripts are found in the adult brain, but only cadherin-20 mRNA was detected during embryogenesis. In mouse embryos, cadherin-20 is synthesized by the forebrain, anterior neural ridge, developing visual system, primitive external granular layer of the cerebellum and a subset of neural crest cells likely to develop into melanoblasts. We found that the other embryonic tissues in which cadherin-20 was synthesized depended on genetic background. Melanoma cell lines contained transcripts for cadherin-7 but not for cadherin-20. The majority of the malignant melanoma cell lines produced N-cadherin (N-Cad) and/or cadherin-7 whereas melanocyte cell lines did not. The converse was observed for E-cadherin (E-Cad). Our data suggest that during development cadherin-20 is a key player in compartmentalization of the neural tube and establishment of neural circuitry. Finally, during oncogenesis, cadherin-7, N-cad and E-cad could be used as an efficient marker set for melanoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / embryology
  • Cadherins / chemistry
  • Cadherins / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / genetics*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Melanocytes / physiology*
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Organ Specificity
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • CDH7 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • Cdh20 protein, mouse
  • RNA, Messenger

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AAP94032
  • GENBANK/AY267034