Genetic and Genomic Pathways of Melanoma Development, Invasion and Metastasis.
IF: 4.141


Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that accounts for 80% of skin cancer deaths. Recent studies have suggested that melanoma invasiveness is attributed to phenotype switching, which is a reversible type of cell behaviour with similarities to epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Phenotype switching in melanoma is reported to be independent of genetic alterations, whereas changes in gene transcription, and epigenetic alterations have been associated with invasiveness in melanoma cell lines. Here, we review mutational, transcriptional, and epigenomic alterations that contribute to tumour heterogeneity in melanoma, and their potential to drive melanoma invasion and metastasis. We also discuss three models that are hypothesized to contribute towards aspects of tumour heterogeneity and tumour progression in melanoma, namely the clonal evolution model, the cancer stem cell model, and the phenotype switching model. We discuss the merits and disadvantages of each model in explaining tumour heterogeneity in melanoma, as a precursor to invasion and metastasis.


Gene Expression
Spatial Transcriptomics
cancer stem cells
clonal evolution
phenotype switching


Motwani, Jyoti
Eccles, Michael R

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