Immunohistochemistry for histone H3 lysine 9 methyltransferase and demethylase proteins in human melanomas

Shinpei Miura, Chihaya Maesawa, Masahiko Shibazaki, Shinji Yasuhira, Syuya Kasai, Kanako Tsunoda, Fumihiko Maeda, Kazuhiro Takahashi, Toshihide Akasaka, Tomoyuki Masuda

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Methylation and demethylation of histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) play a role in the transcriptional regulation of several cancer-related genes and are closely associated with malignant tumor behavior. A novel study has recently demonstrated that SETDB1, a member of the H3K9 methyltransferases, accelerates tumor formation significantly in a zebrafish melanoma model. However, the expression of H3K9 methyltransferases including SETDB1 and demethylases has not been systematically examined in samples of human melanoma. Here, we used immunohistochemistry to examine the expression of the H3K9 methyltransferases, EHMT2 and SETDB1, and a H3K9 demethylase, LSD1, in 67 patients with melanoma. Overexpression of EHMT2, SETDB1, and LSD1 was observed in 14 (21%), 38 (57%), and 53 (79%) of the 67 patients, respectively. A significant relationship was observed between overexpression of EHMT2 or SETDB1 and aggressive tumor behavior such as lymph node metastasis and/or distant metastasis (P < 0.05), whereas no significant relationship was evident for LSD1 immunoreactivity. Univariate log-rank tests demonstrated that patients with melanoma overexpressing EHMT2 had a poorer outcome (P < 0.001), whereas overexpression of SETDB1 or LSD1 had no prognostic impact. These results suggest that overexpression of EHMT2 might be a prognostic marker in patients with melanoma.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)211-216
    Number of pages6
    JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar


    • EHMT2
    • H3K9
    • LSD1
    • Melanoma
    • SETDB1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
    • Dermatology


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