International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol.15, No.10, 19000-19017, 2014
CYP24A1 Expression Inversely Correlates with Melanoma Progression: Clinic-Pathological Studies
The major role of 24-hydroxylase (CYP24A1) is to maintain 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)(2)D3) homeostasis. Recently, it has been discovered that CYP24A1 also catalyses the hydroxylation of 20(OH) D3, producing dihydroxy-derivatives that show very effective antitumorigenic activities. Previously we showed a negative correlation of vitamin D receptor (VDR) and CYP27B1 expression with progression, aggressiveness and overall or disease-free survivals of skin melanomas. Therefore, we analyzed CYP24A1 expression in relation to clinicopathomorphological features of nevi, skin melanomas and metastases. In melanocytic tumors, the level of CYP24A1 was higher than in the normal epidermis. The statistically highest mean CYP24A1 level was found in nevi and early stage melanomas. With melanoma progression, CYP24A1 levels decreased and in advanced stages were comparable to the normal epidermis and metastases. Furthermore, the CYP24A1 expression positively correlated with VDR and CYP27B1, and negatively correlated with mitotic activity. Lower CYP24A1 levels correlated with the presence of ulceration, necrosis, nodular type and amelanotic phenotypes. Moreover, a lack of detectable CYP24A1 expression was related to shorter overall and disease-free survival. In conclusion, the local vitamin D endocrine system affects melanoma behavior and an elevated level of CYP24A1 appears to have an important impact on the formation of melanocytic nevi and melanomagenesis, or progression, at early stages of tumor development.