The Tron Laboratory has focused on molecular mechanisms involved in skin cancer. Recently, we have been examining a role for miRNAs in skin cancer. A number of years ago, we were able to demonstrate that FFPE tissues are very suitable for miRNA profiling, using both array and RT-PCR approaches. We then discovered a number of candidate miRNAs in melanoma. In particular, we validated a role for miR-193b as a tumor suppression miRNA by demonstrating a direct role in regulating cyclin D1. We also demonstrated that miR-193b regulates Mcl-1. Indeed, we were able to demonstrate that a synthetic version of miR-193b was able to sensitize melanoma cells treated with ABT-737. Finally, our melanoma work with miR-193b has unearthed a novel melanoma oncogene. STMN1 is a little known oncogene that may be involved in microtubule destabilization. We have now turned our attention to Merkel Cell Carcinoma, a rare but fascinating skin tumor. We have shown that miRNA 375 is markedly overexpressed in this cancer, and now have exciting preliminary data showing that this miRNA can regulate important cancer related pathways.
Dr. Tron is Chief and Medical Director of Laboratory Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. From 2009 to 2014, he was Clinical and Academic Head of the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Dr. Tron also served as Chair and Chief in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Alberta. He is a medical graduate of the University of Alberta. Dr. Tron completed his Anatomical Pathology specialty training at the University of British Columbia. He then completed an MRC research fellowship at McMaster University and Dermatopathology fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital. His clinical practice is focused on Dermatopathology. Dr. Tron has published extensively in the area of molecular mechanisms of skin cancer.
Keuling AM, Felton KE, Parker AA, Akbari M, Andrew SE, Tron VA. RNA silencing of Mcl-1 enhances ABT-737-mediated apoptosis in melanoma: role for a caspase-8-dependent pathway. PLoS One. 2009 Aug 17;4(8):e6651.
Chen J, Feilotter HE, Pare GC, Zhang X, Pemberton JGW, Garady C, Lai D, Yang X, and Tron VA. MicroRNA-193b Represses Cell Proliferation and Regulates Cyclin D1 in Melanoma. Am J Pathol. 2010 May;176 (5):2520-9.
Keuling AM, Andrew SE, and Tron VA. Inhibition of p38 MAPK enhances ABT-737-induced cell death in melanoma cell lines: Novel regulation of PUMA. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 2010 Jun;23(3):430-40.
Chen J, Zhang X, Lentz C, Abi-Daoud M, Pare GC, Yang X, Feilotter HE, and Tron VA. miR-193b Regulates Mcl-1 in Melanoma. Am J Pathol. 2011 Nov;179(5):2162-8
Pacheco I, Buzea C and Tron V. Towards new therapeutic approaches for malignant melanoma. Expert Rev Mol Med. 2011 Nov 1;13:e33.
Chen J, Abi-Daoud M, Wang A, Yang X, Zhang X, Feilotter HE, and Tron VA. Stathmin 1 is a potential novel oncogene in melanoma. Oncogene 2012 Jun 4. doi: 10.1038/onc.2012.141.
Renwick N, Cekan P, Masry P, McGeary S, Hafner M, Mihailovic A, Miller J, Mobin M, Brown M, Morozov P, Gogarkos T, Zhang N, Perlis C, Wu H, Suarez-Farinas M, Feng H, Moore P, Tron VA, Chang Y, Tuschl T. Differentiating histologically similar tumors through multicolor miRNA fluorescence in situ hybridization J Clin Invest. 2013 May 24. doi:pii: 68760. 10.1172/JCI68760
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