Because it accounts for 70% of all eye cancers, uveal melanoma (UM) is therefore the most common primary ocular malignancy. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms leading to the aberrant expression of the gene encoding the serotonin receptor 2B (HTR2B), one of the most discriminating among the candidates from the class II gene signature, in metastatic and non-metastatic UM cell lines. Transfection analyses revealed that the upstream regulatory region of the HTR2B gene contains a combination of alternative positive and negative regulatory elements functional in HTR2B- but not in HTR23B⁺ UM cells. We demonstrated that both the transcription factors nuclear factor I (NFI) and Runt-related transcription factor I (RUNX1) interact with regulatory elements from the HTR2B gene to either activate (NFI) or repress (RUNX1) HTR2B expression in UM cells. The results of this study will help understand better the molecular mechanisms accounting for the abnormal expression of the HTR2B gene in uveal melanoma.
Keywords: HTR2B; Runt-related transcription factor I (RUNX1); gene promoter; nuclear factor I (NFI); uveal melanoma.