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    Receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2 (ROR2) is a Wnt5a receptor aberrantly expressed in cancer that was shown to either suppress or promote carcinogenesis in different tumor types. Our goal was to study the role of ROR2 in melanoma. Gain and loss-of-function strategies were applied to study the biological function of ROR2 in melanoma. Proliferation assays, flow cytometry, and western blotting were used to evaluate cell proliferation and changes in expression levels of cell-cycle and proliferation markers. The role of ROR2 in tumor growth was assessed in xenotransplantation experiments followed by immunohistochemistry analysis of the tumors. The role of ROR2 in melanoma patients was assessed by analysis of clinical data from the Leeds Melanoma Cohort. Unlike previous findings describing ROR2 as an oncogene in melanoma, we describe that ROR2 prevents tumor growth by inhibiting cell-cycle progression and the proliferation of melanoma cells. The effect of ROR2 is mediated by inhibition of Akt phosphorylation and activity which, in turn, regulates the expression, phosphorylation, and localization of major cell-cycle regulators including cyclins (A, B, D, and E), CDK1, CDK4, RB, p21, and p27. Xenotransplantation experiments demonstrated that ROR2 also reduces proliferation in vivo, resulting in inhibition of tumor growth. In agreement with these findings, a higher ROR2 level favors thin and non-ulcerated primary melanomas with reduced mitotic rate and better prognosis. We conclude that the expression of ROR2 slows down the growth of primary tumors and contributes to prolonging melanoma survival. Our results demonstrate that ROR2 has a far more complex role than originally described. © 2021. The Author(s).


    María Victoria Castro, Gastón Alexis Barbero, María Belén Villanueva, Luca Grumolato, Jérémie Nsengimana, Julia Newton-Bishop, Edith Illescas, María Josefina Quezada, Pablo Lopez-Bergami. ROR2 has a protective role in melanoma by inhibiting Akt activity, cell-cycle progression, and proliferation. Journal of biomedical science. 2021 Nov 13;28(1):76

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    PMID: 34774050

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