Characterization of the CDKN2A and ARF genes in UV-induced melanocytic hyperplasias and melanomas of an opossum (Monodelphis domestica)

Jeannie Chan, Edward S. Robinson, Julia Atencio, Zhiqiang Wang, Steven Kazianis, Luis Della Coletta, Rodney S. Nairn, John R. McCarrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We examined the involvement of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A) locus in the pathogenesis of ultraviolet (UV) radiation-induced melanomas in an opossum (Monodelphis domestica) melanoma model in which suckling young were exposed to UVB to produce melanocytic lesions. Monodelphis CDKN2A and alternated reading frame (ARF) cDNAs were cloned and sequenced, and the expression patterns of these genes were determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in normal tissues, 39 primary melanocytic skin lesions, and two tumor-derived cell lines, one nonmetastatic and one metastatic. Primary melanocytic lesions, including hyperplasias, benign melanomas, melanomas metastatic to lymph nodes, and melanomas metastatic to nodes and additional visceral organs, were categorized accordingly as types I-IV. Levels of CDKN2A transcripts were most abundant in type III tumor samples and the metastatic cell line but absent in the nonmetastatic cell line. ARF transcripts were expressed in all tumors and cell lines. A UV-signature mutation was detected with the wild-type allele at the CDKN2A locus in type II and III primary tumor samples and in the nonmetastatic cell line. Interestingly, in the metastatic cell line, only the mutant allele was present and expressed. These data suggest dynamic changes in the expression and/or structure of the CDKN2A and ARF genes represent one molecular defect associated with the etiology of melanoma formation and progression in the Monodelphis model system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-26
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Gene expression
  • Melanoma
  • Monodelphis
  • Mutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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