Uveal melanoma (UM) is a deadly ocular malignancy, originating from uveal melanocytes. Although much is known regarding prognostication in UM, the exact mechanism of metastasis is mostly unknown. Metastatic tumor cells are known to express a more stem-like RNA profile which is seen often in cell-specific embryonic development to induce tumor progression. Here, we identified novel transcription regulators by reanalyzing publicly available single cell RNA sequencing experiments. We identified five transcription regulators of interest: ELL2, KDM5B, REXO4, RBFOX2 and FOXD1. Our most significant finding is FOXD1, as this gene is nearly exclusively expressed in high-risk UM and its expression is associated with a poor prognosis. Even within the BAP1-mutated UM, the expression of FOXD1 is correlated with poor survival. FOXD1 is a novel factor which could potentially be involved in the metastatic capacity of high-risk UM. Elucidating the function of FOXD1 in UM could provide insight into the malignant transformation of uveal melanocytes, especially in high-risk UM.
van den Bosch, Q. C. C., Nguyen, J. Q. N., Brands, T., van den Bosch, T. P. P., Verdijk, R. M., Paridaens, D., … Brosens, E. (2022). FOXD1 Is a Transcription Factor Important for Uveal Melanocyte Development and Associated with High-Risk Uveal Melanoma. Cancers, 14(15). https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14153668