Malignant melanoma is one of the lethal malignant tumors worldwide. Previously we reported that adenylate cyclase-associated protein 2 (CAP2), which is a well-conserved actin regulator, was overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma; however, CAP2 expression in other clinical cancers remains unclear. The aim of the current study was to clarify the clinicopathological significance of CAP2 overexpression in malignant melanoma. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that many melanoma cells exhibited diffuse cytoplasmic expression of CAP2, whereas no normal melanocytes showed detectable immunostaining for CAP2. A high level of CAP2 expression was seen in 14 of 50 melanomas and was significantly correlated with greater tumor thickness and nodular melanoma subtypes. In addition, a high level of CAP2 expression was associated with poor overall survival in univariate and multivariate analyses. For 13 patients, samples of primary and metastatic melanoma tissue were available: four patients exhibited higher levels of CAP2 expression in metastatic tumor compared to the primary site, whereas no patient showed lower levels of CAP2 expression in metastatic melanomas. Our findings show that CAP2 overexpression is a novel prognostic marker in malignant melanoma and that CAP2 expression seems to increase stepwise during tumor progression, suggesting the involvement of CAP2 in the aggressive behavior of malignant melanoma.
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