- The cell cycle-related genes AURKA and FOXM1 are overexpressed in melanoma. We show here that AURKA overexpression is associated with poor prognosis in three independent cohorts of melanoma patients and correlates with the presence of genomic amplification of AURKA locus and BRAFV600E mutation. AURKA overexpression may also be driven by increased promoter activation through elements such as ETS and FOXM1 found within the 5′ proximal promoter region. Activated MAPK/ERK signaling pathway mediates robust AURKA promoter activation, thereby knockdown of BRAFV600E and ERK inhibition results in reduced AURKA transcription and expression.
- Next-generation sequencing of melanomas has unraveled critical driver genes and genomic abnormalities, mostly defined as occurring at high frequency. In addition, less abundant mutations are present that link melanoma to a set of disorders, commonly called RASopathies. These disorders, which include neurofibromatosis and Noonan and Legius syndromes, harbor germline mutations in various RAS/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway genes. We highlight shared amino acid substitutions between this set of RASopathy mutations and those observed in large-scale melanoma sequencing data, uncovering a significant overlap.