Elevated expression of Rad18 regulates melanoma cell proliferation

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The E3 ligase Rad18 is a key regulator for the lesion bypass pathway, which plays an important role in genomic stability. However, the status of Rad18 expression in melanoma is not known. Using melanoma tissue microarray (TMA), we showed that nuclear Rad18 expression was upregulated in primary and metastatic melanoma compared to dysplastic nevi. Rad18 expression was significantly reduced in sun-exposed sites compared to the sun-protected sites. Strong Rad18 expression correlated with worse 5-year patient survival and was an independent prognostic factor for melanoma found in the sun-protected sites. Furthermore, we showed that melanoma cell proliferation and the expression ofpAkt and cyclin D1 were reduced upon Rad18 knockdown. We, for the first time, showed that Rad18 is significantly increased in melanoma and predicts the poor outcome for melanoma in the sun-protected sites. Rad18 is involved in the regulation of melanoma cell proliferation, which can be exploited in designing new strategy for melanoma treatment.

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