Differential PAX3 functions in normal skin melanocytes and melanoma cells

Sandra Medic, Helen Rizos, Mel Ziman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
73 Downloads (Pure)


The PAX3 transcription factor is the key regulator of melanocyte development during embryogenesis and is also frequently found in melanoma cells. While PAX3 is known to regulate melanocyte differentiation, survival, proliferation and migration during development, it is not clear if its function is maintained in adult melanocytes and melanoma cells. To clarify this we have assessed which genes are targeted by PAX3 in these cells. We show here that similar to its roles in development, PAX3 regulates complex differentiation networks in both melanoma cells and melanocytes, in order to maintain cells as " stem" cell-like (via NES and SOX9). We show also that mediators of migration (MCAM and CSPG4) are common to both cell types but more so in melanoma cells. By contrast, PAX3-mediated regulation of melanoma cell proliferation (through TPD52) and survival (via BCL2L1 and PTEN) differs from that in melanocytes. These results suggest that by controlling cell proliferation, survival and migration as well as maintaining a less differentiated " stem" cell like phenotype, PAX3 may contribute to melanoma development and progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-837
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Volume 411, Issue 4, 12 August 2011, Pages 832-837, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.07.053.


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