Microrna-222 regulates melanoma plasticity

Maria Chiara Lionetti, Filippo Cola, Oleksandr Chepizhko, Maria Rita Fumagalli, Francesc Font-Clos, Roberto Ravasio, Saverio Minucci, Paola Canzano, Marina Camera, Guido Tiana, Stefano Zapperi, Caterina A.M. La Porta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Melanoma is one of the most aggressive and highly resistant tumors. Cell plasticity in melanoma is one of the main culprits behind its metastatic capabilities. The detailed molecular mechanisms controlling melanoma plasticity are still not completely understood. Here we combine mathematical models of phenotypic switching with experiments on IgR39 human melanoma cells to identify possible key targets to impair phenotypic switching. Our mathematical model shows that a cancer stem cell subpopulation within the tumor prevents phenotypic switching of the other cancer cells. Experiments reveal that hsa-mir-222 is a key factor enabling this process. Our results shed new light on melanoma plasticity, providing a potential target and guidance for therapeutic studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2573
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Cancer stem cells
  • Hsa-mir-222
  • Kinetic equations
  • Melanoma
  • Phenotypic switching
  • Reaction diffusion
  • Tumor plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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