Aim To study the GNAQ mutational status in a series of uveal melanomas and evaluate possible associations with mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway protein expression and tumour proliferation markers.
Methods Mutational analysis was performed by PCR/sequencing of exon 5 of the GNAQ gene in a series of 22 uveal melanomas in which total and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 overexpression without coexistent BRAF and NRAS mutations had previously been observed. Expression of the cell cycle markers (Ki-67, cyclin D1 and p27) was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. The association between GNAQ mutational status, ERK1/2, phospho-ERK1/2, Ki-67, cyclin D1 and p27 expression levels and the clinicopathological prognostic parameters of uveal melanomas was also assessed.
Results GNAQ mutations were found in 36% of uveal melanomas. No associations were found between the GNAQ mutational status and prognostic parameters, the expression of ERK1/2, pERK1/2 and cell cycle markers.
Conclusion The results of this study suggest that GNAQ mutated uveal melanomas do not exhibit a higher deregulation of proliferation or higher activation of the MAPK signalling pathway than uveal melanomas without GNAQ overactivation.
- MAPK pathway
- uveal melanoma
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Funding This study was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology through a PhD grant to HP (ref SFRH/BD/31369/2006) and project PTDC/SAU-OBD/69787/2006 (project 3599/PPCDT).
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.