Complete scanning of the CDK4 gene by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis: a novel missense mutation but low overall frequency of mutations in sporadic metastatic malignant melanoma

Int J Cancer. 1997 Sep 4;72(5):780-3. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0215(19970904)72:5<780::aid-ijc13>;2-d.


The cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) is a key component in regulation of the mammalian cell cycle. The recent discovery of a common missense mutation (Arg24Cys) in both sporadic and familial forms of malignant melanoma strongly supports the candidacy of CDK4 as a proto-oncogene. To study further the role of CDK4 in melanoma pathogenesis, we have established a method based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in combination with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) to scan the CDK4 gene for point mutations. By analyzing the entire coding sequence of the CDK4 gene in 56 sporadic metastatic malignant melanomas, we identified a novel missense mutation, Asn41Ser. This mutation was also found in the germline of the patient who had no family history of melanoma. Analysis of a tumor-derived cell line demonstrated equal expression of the mutant and wild-type CDK4 alleles, together with lack of functional p16. Our findings suggest that an oncogenic mechanism of the CDK4-Asn41Ser variant would be different from the CDK4-Arg24Cys variant. Altogether, our data demonstrate that point mutation of CDK4 is a rare event in melanoma pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asparagine / genetics
  • Biopsy
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases / genetics*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis / methods*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins*
  • Serine / genetics
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • MAS1 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Serine
  • Asparagine
  • CDK4 protein, human
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U37022