The MMAC1/PTEN gene, located at 10q23.3, is a candidate tumor suppressor commonly mutated in glioma. We have studied the pattern of deletion, mutation, and expression of MMAC1/PTEN in 35 unrelated melanoma cell lines. Nine (26%) of the cell lines showed partial or complete homozygous deletion of the MMAC1/PTEN gene, and another six (17%) harbored a mutation in combination with loss of the second allele. Mutations could also be demonstrated in uncultured tumor specimens from which the cell lines had been established, and cell lines derived from two different metastases from one individual carried the same missense mutation. Collectively, these findings suggest that disruption of MMAC1/PTEN by allelic loss or mutation may contribute to the pathogenesis or neoplastic evolution in a large proportion of malignant melanomas.
This work was supported by grants from the Danish Cancer Society, the Danish Medical Research Council, and the Novo Nordisk Foundation.