The role of cell cycle regulatory proteins in the pathogenesis of melanoma

Pathology. 2006 Aug;38(4):287-301. doi: 10.1080/00313020600817951.


The transformation of melanocytes to melanoma cells is characterised by abnormal proliferation resulting from alterations in cell cycle regulatory mechanisms. This occurs through alterations in the two major cell cycle regulatory pathways, the retinoblastoma (Rb) and p53 tumour suppressor pathways. This review summarises the current knowledge of alterations in these two pathways at G1/S transition and specifically the role of the key cell cycle regulatory proteins pRb, p16INK4a (p16), cyclin D1, p27Kip1 (p27), p53 and p21Waf1/Cip1 (p21) in the pathogenesis of melanoma. It also considers their prognostic significance. Current data indicate that alterations of cyclin kinase inhibitor (cdki) levels are implicated in the pathogenesis of melanoma and may be useful prognostic markers. However, large validation studies linked to comprehensive clinical follow up data are necessary to clarify the prognostic significance of cell cycle regulatory proteins in individual patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Cyclin D1 / genetics
  • Cyclin D1 / metabolism
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / metabolism
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21 / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21 / metabolism
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27 / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27 / metabolism
  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / genetics
  • Melanoma / physiopathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / genetics
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics
  • Skin Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Retinoblastoma Protein
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Cyclin D1
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27