Elucidation of a Novel Molecular Mechanism in the Regulation of Melanoma Cancer Cell Metastasis

Research Press Release | June 12, 2015


Press Release
Key Points
  • Signal-transducing adaptor protein-2 (STAP-2), an adaptor protein which modulates metastases of melanoma cancer cells, was identified.
  • Expression of STAP-2 affected the morphology, motility, and viability of melanoma cancer cells.
  • Alteration of expression of STAP-2 in melanoma cancer cells determined organs to which the cancer metastasized in the body.
  • STAP-2 expression altered the amount of the melanin synthetase, tyrosinase in melanoma cancer cells.
  • The development of new anti-cancer drugs for melanoma is expected from the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms involved in STAP-2 expression and quantitative changes in tyrosinase.
Overview Melanoma (malignant melanoma) is a skin cancer that is common in Caucasians, but it is said that even among Japanese there are one or two cases each year per a population of 100,000. It is also known as a highly malignant cancer because of its high metastatic potential, low survival rate after the discovery of metastasis, and difficulty of treatment by either chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

We identified signal-transducing adaptor protein-2 (STAP-2), an adaptor protein that modulates the metastasis of melanoma cancer cells. STAP-2 modulates the protein level of the melanin synthetase, tyrosinase within melanoma cancer cells, which determines which organs the melanoma cancer cells will metastasize within the body. If the detailed mechanism how the STAP-2 protein modulates the protein level of tyrosinase can be elucidated, this will lead to the development of new anti-cancer drugs for controlling melanoma metastasis.

This research was announced in The Journal of Biological Chemistry – Papers in Press, a prestigious journal in the field of biology, on Thursday, May 28. (see Publications below)


Tadashi MATSUDA, Professor, Department of ImmunologyFaculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University

TEL: +81-11-706-3243

FAX: +81-11-706-4990

E-mail: tmatsuda@pharm.hokudai.ac.jp



Publications  STAP-2 expression in B16F10 melanoma cells positively regulates protein levels of tyrosinase, which determines organs to infiltrate in the body, The Journal of Biological Chemistry (2015.5.28)


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