Background: Melanoma is a complex genetic disease, the management of which will require an in-depth understanding of the biology underlying its initiation and progression. Recently, we have reported the differential regulation of a novel gene, namely ASK/Dbf4, in melanoma and suggested upregulation of ASK/Dbf4 as a novel molecular determinant with prognostic relevance that confers a proliferative advantage in cutaneous melanoma. As trans-acting factor binding is fundamental to understand the regulation of gene expression, this study focuses on characterization of the specific transcriptional regulation of ASK/Dbf4 in melanoma.
Objective: We investigated whether ASK/Dbf4 is a transcriptional target of the important cell cycle regulator E2F1 in melanoma.
Results: As evidenced by gel supershift assays on nuclear extracts from various melanoma cell lines (SK-MEL-28, MV3, M13, A375 and BLM), E2F1 bound to the ASK/Dbf4 minimal promoter (MP). In addition, cisplatin-mediated abrogation of E2F1 binding to the ASK/Dbf4 MP resulted in a transcriptional decrease in ASK/Dbf4. Further, the current study also demonstrated that ASK/Dbf4 regulation was refractory to UVB, a well-known risk factor for melanoma.
Conclusions: In summary, our study not only elucidated that ASK/Dbf4, a novel cell survival gene in melanoma was transcriptionally regulated by E2F1, but also that the induction of ASK/Dbf4 was refractory to UVB exposure suggesting that its upregulation was not an early event in melanomagenesis.