Primary mucosal melanomas of the head and neck are characterised by overexpression of the DNA mutating enzyme APOBEC3B

Argyris PP, Naumann J, Jarvis MC, Wilkinson PE, Ho DP, Islam MN, Bhattacharyya I, Gopalakrishnan R, Li F, Koutlas IG, Giubellino A, Harris RS.


Primary head/neck mucosal melanomas (MMs) are rare and exhibit aggressive biologic behaviour and elevated mutational loads. The molecular mechanisms responsible for high genomic instability observed in head/neck MMs remain elusive. The DNA cytosine deaminase APOBEC3B (A3B) constitutes a major endogenous source of mutation in human cancer. A3B-related mutations are identified through C-to-T/-G base substitutions in 5'-TCA/T motifs. Herein, we present immunohistochemical and genomic data supportive of a role for A3B in head/neck MMs.