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  1. A. M. DeLuca1,
  2. B. Ryu2,
  3. R. Alani2
  1. 1University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ
  2. 2Department of Dermatology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.


Although the incidence of melanoma is increasing, we continue to lack a systemic therapy that has been proven to provide a significant survival benefit. Molecular pathways involved in the progression of melanoma may provide new therapeutic targets. Therefore, understanding the molecular basis of melanoma progression is necessary to achieve more effective treatment for this deadly disease. Constitutive activation of the protein nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) can result in overexpression of proinflammatory mediators, leading to organ damage and carcinogenesis. NF-κB, when activated, is translocated to the nucleus, where it binds DNA at certain promoter regions. The goal of this investigation is to question the role NF-κB has in the tumorigenesis of melanoma. One cell line from a noninvasive radial growth phase melanoma lesion and one cell line from an invasive, more aggressive, vertical growth phase lesion were both stained using immunohistochemistry using antibody tagged with fluorescence to NF-κB. The cells were then viewed under a fluorescent microscope. It was seen that the early noninvasive cells had increased uptake in the cytoplasm, whereas the more aggressive, invasive cells had an increased uptake in the nucleus. This indicates that, in the invasive cells, NF-κB is more active. Thus, NF-κB may play a role in the progression of melanoma, allowing cells to gain the capacity to invade and metastasize. Therefore, proteins involved in the NF-κB pathway may be potential targets for novel chemotherapeutic agents.

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