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Genes 2017, 8(12), 384;

The Tumor Suppressor p53 in Mucosal Melanoma of the Head and Neck

Department of Otorhinolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Technische Universität München, Ismaningerstr, 22, 81675 München, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Giuseppe Gasparre and Anna Maria Porcelli
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
Full-Text   |   PDF [760 KB, uploaded 13 December 2017]   |  


Despite worldwide prevention programs, the incidence for cutaneous melanoma is continuously increasing. Mucosal melanoma (MM) represents a rare but highly aggressive phenotype of common melanoma with predilection in the sinonasal system. Far away from ultraviolet sun exposure, the molecular mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis and the highly aggressive clinical behavior are poorly understood. In many solid malignomas of the head and neck region, p53 tumor suppressor functions as oncogene due to p53 protein stabilizing mutation. Interestingly, the vast majority of MM demonstrates constitutively expressed p53 protein, with protein stabilizing mutations being rare. Abrogated activation of p53 target genes results in derogation of the apoptotic signal cascade and contributes to the strong resistance against chemotherapeutic agents activating p53 dependent apoptosis. The current review illustrates the role of p53 and its pathway in MM. View Full-Text
Keywords: mucosal melanoma; p53; Puma, N-ras; pathway; apoptosis mucosal melanoma; p53; Puma, N-ras; pathway; apoptosis

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Fritsche, M.K.; Knopf, A. The Tumor Suppressor p53 in Mucosal Melanoma of the Head and Neck. Genes 2017, 8, 384.

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