Loss of stromal Caveolin-1 expression in malignant melanoma metastases predicts poor survival

Karen N. Wu, Maria Queenan, Jonathan R. Brody, Magdalena Potoczek, Federica Sotgia, Michael P. Lisanti, Agnieszka K. Witkiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Caveolins are the principal protein component of caveolae, plasma membrane invaginations found in most cell types. Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) plays a major role in oncogenesis through its various functions in lipid transport, membrane trafficking and signal transduction. Increased expression of Cav-1 in tumor cells has been associated with aggressiveness and poor survival. More recently, loss of stromal Cav-1 expression was linked to poor survival and increased metastatic potential in breast and prostate cancer. To date, there is no study addressing the clinical significance of Cav-1 expression in malignant melanoma (MM). Our study consisted of 44 cases of MM: 12 MM lymph node metastases from patients with short survival, 12 MM lymph node metastases from patients with long survival and 20 primary MM. All cases were stained with Cav?1 antibodies. Cav-1 expression in melanoma and stromal cells was quantified using a 3 point scale: 0 = no staining, 1 = diffuse weak staining or strong staining in <30% of cells and 2 = diffuse strong staining. A score of 0-1 represented low Cav-1 expression and a score of 2 represented high Cav-1 expression. In patients with MM lymph node metastases, a low stromal Cav-1 expression was associated with shorter survival when compared with the high stromal Cav-1 expression group (median survival 252 days vs. 3,508 days, p-value 0.005). Conversely, high Cav-1 expression in melanoma cells was associated with a longer survival in primary MM (p < 0.0001). In conclusion, high expression of stromal Cav-1 correlates with longer survival in malignant melanoma metastases and high expression of Cav-1 in melanoma cells correlates with longer survival in primary malignant melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4250-4255
Number of pages6
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Caveolin-1
  • Melanoma
  • Metastases
  • Stroma
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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