Shared gene expression and immune pathway changes associated with progression from nevi to melanoma

Elizabeth S. Borden, Anngela C. Adams, Kenneth H. Buetow, Melissa A. Wilson, Julie E. Bauman, Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski, H. H.Sherry Chow, Bonnie J. Lafleur, Karen Taraszka Hastings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


There is a need to identify molecular biomarkers of melanoma progression to assist the development of chemoprevention strategies to lower melanoma incidence. Using datasets contain-ing gene expression for dysplastic nevi and melanoma or melanoma arising in a nevus, we performed differential gene expression analysis and regularized regression models to identify genes and pathways that were associated with progression from nevi to melanoma. A small number of genes distinguished nevi from melanoma. Differential expression of seven genes was identified between nevi and melanoma in three independent datasets. C1QB, CXCL9, CXCL10, DFNA5 (GSDME), FCGR1B, and PRAME were increased in melanoma, and SCGB1D2 was decreased in melanoma, compared to dysplastic nevi or nevi that progressed to melanoma. Further supporting an association with melanomagenesis, these genes demonstrated a linear change in expression from benign nevi to dysplastic nevi to radial growth phase melanoma to vertical growth phase mela-noma. The genes associated with melanoma progression showed significant enrichment of multiple pathways related to the immune system. This study demonstrates (1) a novel application of bioin-formatic approaches to aid clinical trials of melanoma chemoprevention and (2) the feasibility of determining a gene signature biomarker of melanomagenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Dysplastic nevi
  • Melanoma
  • Molecular biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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