Research Perspectives:

NUAK2: an emerging acral melanoma oncogene

Takeshi Namiki, Sergio G. Coelho and Vincent J. Hearing _

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Oncotarget. 2011; 2:695-704. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.325

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Takeshi Namiki1,2, Sergio G. Coelho1, Vincent J. Hearing1

1Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA

2Department of Dermatology, Yokohama Minato Red Cross Hospital, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0801, Japan

Received: September 9, 2011; Accepted: September 10, 2011; Published: September 10, 2011;

Keywords: NUAK2, acral melanoma, migration, metastasis, oncogene


Dr. Takeshi Namiki, email:


Recent technological advances in cancer genomics make it possible to dissect complicated genomic aberrations of melanomas. In particular, several specific genomic aberrations including 11q13 amplification and KIT aberrations have been identified in acral melanomas. We recently identified NUAK2 at 1q32 as a promising oncogene in acral melanomas and reported its significant roles in tumorigenesis in melanoma cells using both in vitro and in vivo analyses. NUAK2 as a member of the AMPK family has several intriguing aspects both as an oncogene and as a tumor suppressor gene. Here we review genomic aberrations of melanomas focusing on acral melanomas to emphasize the possible roles of NUAK2 in tumorigenesis in general and suggest that NUAK2 has pivotal roles in acral melanomagenesis.

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