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It is widely held that cells with metastatic properties such as invasiveness and expression of matrix metalloproteinases arise through the stepwise accumulation of genetic lesions arising from genetic instability and "clonal evolution." By contrast, we show here that in melanomas invasiveness can be regulated epigenetically by the microphthalmia-associated(More)
Tumours comprise multiple phenotypically distinct subpopulations of cells, some of which are proposed to possess stem cell-like properties, being able to self-renew, seed and maintain tumours, and provide a reservoir of therapeutically resistant cells. Here, we use melanoma as a model to explore the validity of the cancer stem cell hypothesis in the light(More)
While all basic region/helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins bind the consensus CANNTG motif, other factors must be involved in determining regulatory specificity. In this report we show that bases outside this core 6 bp are involved in determining the specificity of binding. Thus, binding of the yeast bHLH protein PHO4, but not CPF-1, is inhibited by the(More)
Increased expression of the Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) contributes to melanoma progression and resistance to BRAF pathway inhibition. Here we show that the lack of MITF is associated with more severe resistance to a range of inhibitors, while its presence is required for robust drug responses. Both in primary and acquired(More)
The activation of the PHO5 gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae in response to phosphate starvation critically depends on two transcriptional activators, the basic helix-loop-helix protein Pho4 and the homeodomain protein Pho2. Pho4 acts through two essential binding sites corresponding to the regulatory elements UASp1 and UASp2. Mutation of either of them(More)
The tyrosinase gene is expressed specifically in melanocytes and the cells of the retinal pigment epithelium, which together are responsible for skin, hair, and eye color. By using a combination of DNase I footprinting and band shift assays coupled with mutagenesis of specific DNA elements, we examined the requirements for melanocyte-specific expression of(More)
Tumor progression is a multistep process in which proproliferation mutations must be accompanied by suppression of senescence. In melanoma, proproliferative signals are provided by activating mutations in NRAS and BRAF, whereas senescence is bypassed by inactivation of the p16(Ink4a) gene. Melanomas also frequently exhibit constitutive activation of the(More)
The controls that enable melanoblasts and melanoma cells to proliferate are likely to be related, but so far no key regulator of cell cycle progression specific to the melanocyte lineage has been identified. The microphthalmia-associated transcription factor Mitf has a crucial but poorly defined role in melanoblast and melanocyte survival and in(More)
The transcription factor Sox10 is genetically linked with Waardenburg syndrome 4 (WS4) in humans and the Dominant megacolon (Dom) mouse model for this disease. The pigmentary defects observed in the Dom mouse and WS4 are reminiscent of those associated with mutations in the microphthalmia (Mitf) gene, which encodes a transcription factor essential for the(More)