Gene Expression Changes in an Animal Melanoma Model Correlate with Aggressiveness of Human Melanoma Metastases

Molecular Cancer Research 6, 760-769, May 1, 2008. Published: 2008.04.30

Lei Xu, Steven S. Shen, Yujin Hoshida, Aravind Subramanian, Ken Ross, Jean-Philippe Brunet, Stephan N. Wagner, Sridhar Ramaswamy, Jill P. Mesirov, and Richard O. Hynes

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Metastasis is the deadliest phase of cancer progression. Experimental models using immunodeficient mice have been used to gain insights into the mechanisms of metastasis. We report here the identification of a "metastasis aggressiveness gene expression signature" derived using human melanoma cells selected based on their metastatic potentials in a xenotransplant metastasis model. Comparison with expression data from human melanoma patients shows that this metastasis gene signature correlates with the aggressiveness of melanoma metastases in human patients. Many genes encoding secreted and membrane proteins are included in the signature, suggesting the importance of tumor-microenvironment interactions during metastasis.