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Dermatology Research and Practice
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 354191, 5 pages
Review Article

RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK and PI3K/PTEN/AKT Signaling in Malignant Melanoma Progression and Therapy

Unit of Environmental Health Sciences, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Life and Health Sciences, Chubu University, Kasugai, Aichi 487-8501, Japan

Received 12 May 2011; Accepted 9 August 2011

Academic Editor: Pascale Quatresooz

Copyright © 2012 Ichiro Yajima et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cutaneous malignant melanoma is one of the most serious skin cancers and is highly invasive and markedly resistant to conventional therapy. Melanomagenesis is initially triggered by environmental agents including ultraviolet (UV), which induces genetic/epigenetic alterations in the chromosomes of melanocytes. In human melanomas, the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK (MAPK) and the PI3K/PTEN/AKT (AKT) signaling pathways are two major signaling pathways and are constitutively activated through genetic alterations. Mutations of RAF, RAS, and PTEN contribute to antiapoptosis, abnormal proliferation, angiogenesis, and invasion for melanoma development and progression. To find better approaches to therapies for patients, understanding these MAPK and AKT signaling mechanisms of melanoma development and progression is important. Here, we review MAPK and AKT signaling networks associated with melanoma development and progression.