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Protein expression of KIT, BRAF, GNA11, GNAQ and RASSF1 in feline diffuse iris melanomas

Rushton, J.G., Korb, M., Kummer, S., Reichart, U., Fuchs-Baumgartinger, A., Tichy, A., Nell, B.
The veterinary journal 2019 v.249 pp. 33-40
G-proteins, antibodies, cats, eyes, fluorescent antibody technique, gene expression regulation, humans, melanoma, metastasis, molecular biology, mutation, protein subunits, protein synthesis, protein-serine-threonine kinases, proto-oncogenes, receptor protein-tyrosine kinase, serine, threonine
Feline iris melanoma, the most common feline intraocular tumour, has a reported metastatic rate of 19–63%. However, there is a lack of knowledge about its molecular biology. Previous studies have reported that feline iris melanomas do not harbour mutations comparable to common mutations found in their human counterpart. Nevertheless, there are differences in the gene expression patterns. The aim of this study was to investigate the protein expression of B-RAF oncogene serine/threonine kinase (BRAF), G protein subunit alpha q (GNAQ) and 11 (GNA11), KIT proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase (KIT), and Ras association family member 1 (RASSF1) in feline iris melanomas.Fifty-seven formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) iris melanomas and 25 FFPE eyes without ocular abnormalities were stained with antibodies against the respective proteins using immunofluorescence. Averaged pixel intensities/μm2 and percentage of stained area from total tissue area were measured and the results were compared. Compared to the control group, iris melanomas showed overexpression of BRAF, GNAQ, GNA11 and KIT. The higher expression of BRAF, GNAQ, GNA11 and KIT in feline iris melanomas suggest that these proteins may play a key role in the development of feline iris melanomas and KIT may present a possible target for future therapies in cats with feline iris melanomas.