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A.P. Moulin, P. Della Pelle, T.P. Dryja, L.M. Duncan; Melastatin Expression in Ocular Melanocytic Proliferations . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):1539.
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Purpose: Melastatin (MLSN-1) belongs to the transient receptor potential (TRP) superfamilly of calcium-permeable channels, and has been reported to be a melanocyte-specific gene. In human cutaneous melanoma, MLSN-1 mRNA expression displays a pattern of inverse correlation to disease free survival. We describe the patterns of MLSN-1 mRNA expression in conjunctival nevi, conjunctival melanoma, and uveal melanoma. Methods: In situ hybridization using two S35-labelled riboprobes for MLSN-1 was performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. A control probe for H4 histone was used to confirm mRNA integrity in these archival tissues. The 21 ocular melanocytic lesions studied included 5 conjunctival nevi, 6 conjunctival melanomas, and 10 enucleated eyes with uveal melanoma. The minimal requirement for interpretation of MLSN-1 mRNA loss was the presence of only background signal in a focus of at least 5 adjacent melanocytic cells. Results: Ubiquitous expression of MLSN-1 mRNA was found in conjunctival melanocytes in the non-lesional epithelium adjacent to the conjunctival melanocytic proliferations and in all 5 conjunctival nevi studied. Four different patterns of MLSN-1 mRNA expression were observed in conjunctival melanomas: one case showed complete preservation of MLSN-1 mRNA, two cases showed diffuse scattered loss of MLSN-1 mRNA, two cases showed focal clonal loss of MLSN-1 mRNA expression, and one case had no detected MLSN-1 mRNA. In uveal melanomas, MLSN-1 mRNA expression was partially preserved in two cases, lost by a clearly delimited subset of tumor cells (focal clonal loss) in four cases, and was not detectable in the entire tumor in four cases. MLSN-1 mRNA expression was also found in the normal iris, ciliary and choroidal melanocytes as well as in the retinal pigmented epithelium and in the inner nuclear layer of the retina. Conclusions: The patterns of MLSN-1 mRNA expression in the ocular melanocytic proliferations are similar to those reported in cutaneous melanocytic proliferations. In the conjunctiva, MLSN-1 mRNA expression appeared to correlate with tumor progression; all the benign conjunctival nevi had preserved expression of MLSN-1 mRNA and most of the conjunctival melanomas partial or complete loss of expression. In uveal melanoma, patterns of melastatin expression ranging from partial preservation to complete loss were found. Additional studies of a large number of ocular melanocytic proliferations may show a correlation with tumor progression and prognosis similar to that observed in cutaneous melanoma.
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