L1 adhesion molecule (CD 171) in development and progression of human malignant melanoma

Mina Fogel, Sabine Mechtersheimer, Monica Huszar, Asya Smirnov, Adel Abu-Dahi, Wolfgang Tilgen, Jörg Reichrath, Thomas Georg, Peter Altevogt, Paul Gutwein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


The L1 adhesion molecule (CD171) plays an important role in axon guidance and cell migration in the nervous system. In the human, L1 is expressed on tumors derived from neurocrest and on certain carcinomas. We have analyzed immunohistochemically L1 expression on paraffin embedded specimens of acquired melanocytic nevi, primary cutaneous melanomas, and cutaneous and lymph node metastases of malignant melanomas. We found an increase in L1 immunoreactivity in malignant melanomas and metastases of malignant melanomas as compared to acquired melanocytic nevi that was statistically significant (P<0.05). Additionally, a correlation of L1 immunoreactivity with histological data of prognostic value such as Clark level and the expression of αv-integrins was found. We detected soluble L1 in the conditioned medium of cultivated melanoma cells but only in 1/40 serum samples from a panel of melanoma patients representing various stages of disease. Our findings suggest that the presence of L1 might contribute to tumor progression by promoting cell adhesion and migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2003


  • L1 adhesion molecule
  • Malignant melanoma
  • Skin tumors


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