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Gene identification by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay inhibition (GINI) has proven to be a strategy for genome-wide discovery of genes containing inactivating mutations in colon and prostate cancers. Here, we present the first study of inhibition of the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) pathway in melanoma. We used a combination of emetine and actinomycin D treatment to stabilize mRNAs containing premature termination codons (PTCs), followed by microarray analysis and sequencing to identify novel tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) in a panel of 12 melanoma cell lines. Stringent analysis of the array data was used to select 35 candidate genes for sequencing. Of these, 4 (11%) were found to carry PTCs, including ARHGEF17, DENND2D, FGFR3, and RB1. While RB1 mutations have previously been described in melanoma, the other three genes represent potentially novel melanoma; TSGs. ARHGEF17 showed a G1865A mutation leading to W622X in a cell line derived from a mucosal melanoma; in RB1 a C1411T base change resulting in Q471X was discovered in a cell line derived from an acral melanoma; and the FGFR3 and DENND2D genes had intronic insertions leading to PTCs in cell lines derived from superficially spreading melanomas. We conclude that although the false positive rate is high, most likely due to the lack of DNA mismatch repair gene defects, the GINI protocol is one approach to discover novel TSGs in melanoma.

Original publication




Journal article


Genes Chromosomes Cancer

Publication Date





1076 - 1085


Codon, Nonsense, DNA-Binding Proteins, Dactinomycin, Emetine, Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors, Humans, Melanoma, Mutation, RNA Stability, RNA, Messenger, Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 3, Retinoblastoma Protein, Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors, Tumor Cells, Cultured