University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Molecular Studies of Nevi and Melanoma

Melanoma CellsResearch studies conducted by UPCI's MP have led to the identification of key genes and proteins that fuel melanoma inception and progression and may contribute to treatment response and resistance.

Selected Publications

  • Treatment with a small-molecule cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that selectively blocks the function of CDK2, CDK5, CDK1, and CDK9, leads to inhibition of melanoma cell proliferation and apoptosis and impairs the growth of human melanoma xenografts. (Abdullah C,, Cell Cycle. 2011;10(6):977-88).
  • Aurora kinases A and B, two key regulators of cell cycle progression, are upregulated to high levels with progression of melanoma from in situ to primary to metastatic. Inhibiting expression of these two genes by RNA interference or blocking their function with an Aurora kinase-specific small molecule inhibitor severely impairs melanoma cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, and induces melanoma cell apoptosis. (Wang X,, Genes Cancer. 2010;(9):952-63).


Ho, Jonhan, MD
Dermatology and Pathology
Zarour, Hassane, MD
Rao, Uma, MD