Skin hypoxia: A promoting environmental factor in melanomagenesis

Barbara Bedogni, Marianne Broome Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Melanomagenesis is a complex phenomenon in which environmental, genetic and host factors play a role. Sun burns in early childhood are a known risk factor in melanoma development. Alteration of prosurvival genes such as Ras and Akt and loss of function of the p16INK4a-CDK4/6-pRb and p14 ARF-HDM2-p53 pathways are strongly associated with human melanoma. We have demonstrated that normally occurring skin hypoxia represents a previously unappreciated host promoting factor in melanomagenesis. Melanocytes that express oncogenes such as Akt, and are therefore genetically unstable, show a transform phenotype only in a mild hypoxic environment that resembles the hypoxic status of the skin. Hypoxia, therefore, is not just a prerogative of advanced neoplasia; physiologic tissue hypoxia, through the activity of HIF1α, can function as a promoting factor in tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1258-1261
Number of pages4
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Akt
  • HIF1α
  • Melanocyte survival/proliferation
  • Melanomagenesis
  • Skin hypoxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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