The Many Roles of MITF in Melanoma
Department of Transcription and Cell Signaling, Institute of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital Prague, Czech Republic
- *Corresponding Author:
- Dr. Jiri Vachtenheim
Department of Transcription and Cell Signaling
Institute of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics
Katerinska 32, Prague 2, 12108, Charles University Prague
First Faculty of Medicine, Czech Republic
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: April 09, 2017 Accepted Date: April 18, 2017 Published Date: April 20, 2017
Citation: Vachtenheim J (2017) The Many Roles of MITF in Melanoma. Single Cell Biol 6: 162. doi:10.4172/2168-9431.1000162
Copyright: © 2017 Vachtenheim J. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) plays pivotal role in the maintenance of the melanocyte lineage, differentiation of normal and malignant melanocytes and the survival of melanoma cells. MITF regulates expression of many genes with critical functions in cell differentiation, proliferation, and pro-survival properties. Melanoma is an extremely resilient tumor for which no effective therapy exists when the tumor progresses into metastasis. Melanoma is a heterogenous tumor in which the microheterogeneity arises already in the first stages of the tumor development. Because the dependence of the melanocyte lineage on MITF is critical, MITF is regarded as the paradigmatic lineage-addiction oncogene and its gene is amplified in a smaller subset of melanomas. The level of MITF protein greatly differs among the tumor cells. Intriguingly, low MITF level cells are slowly proliferating but constitute an invasive subpopulation of tumor cells. In this minireview, I briefly discuss the many roles and activities of MITF in melanoma cells and the future prospects for melanoma therapy.