Melanoma Signaling and Novel Imaging Modalities

Dr. Lynn Cornelius' laboratory focuses upon signaling pathways important in melanoma tumorigenesis. Recently, our work has centered upon a specific signaling molecule, Rap-1, a member of the Ras superfamily of small GTPases, that functions in the MAPK pathway and integrin regulation. Our laboratory has recently shown that activation of Rap-1 contributes to activation of ERK, melanoma cell migration and integrin activation in melanoma. We are continuing these investigations to elucidate potential mechanisms of Rap-1 regulation.


A new focus of the laboratory is collaborative work in melanoma imaging with Dr. LiHong Wang, Washington University, Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Wang’s research has focused upon the development of novel imaging techniques, including functional photoacoustic microscopy. We are working to develop this technology for in vivo imaging in melanoma.

Finally, our clinical translational studies in melanoma include the establishment of a melanoma database that includes tissue and DNA from melanoma patients that is banked in Siteman Cancer Center Tissue Procurement Core. We are currently recruiting individuals with a history of multiple melanomas, a family history of melanoma and/or other cancers, and performing mutational analysis of their DNA.

Raza, S., Nehring, L.C., Shapiro, S.D., Cornelius, L.A.: Proteinase activated receptor-1 regulation of macrophase elastase (MMP-12) secretion by serine proteinases. J Biol Chem, 2000, 275:41243-41250.

Payne, A.S., Cornelius, L.A.: The role of chemokines and chemokine receptors in tumor growth and metastasis. J Invest Dermatol, 2002, 118(6):915-922.


Lowe, J.B., Hurst, E., Moley, J.F.,Cornelius L.A. Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in Patients with Thin Melanoma: Experience at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Arch Dermatol 2003, 139:617.

Hurst, E., Cornelius, L.A.: Ocular melanoma: A review and the relationship to cutaneous melanoma Arch Dermatol 2003,139:1067-1073.

Cornelius, L.A., Carlson, J.A., Harbour, J.W. Cancer of the Skin and Melanoma. (2205) In: DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer Principles and Practice of Oncology Review. Editor: Ramaswamy Govindin, Lippincott, St. Louis, MO.

Rothschild YH. Cornelius L.A. Inflammatory skin diseases of the head and neck. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America. 11(2):131-9, 2003 May.

Houghton, A.M., Grisolano, J.L., Baumann, M.L., Kobayashi, D.K., Hautamaki, R.D., Nehring, L.C., Cornelius, L.A., Shapiro, S.D: Macrophage Elastase (Matrix Metalloproteinase-12) Suppresses Growth of Lung Metastases Cancer Res 2006; 66 (12): 6149-615.

Gao L, Feng Y, Bowers R, Becker-Hapak M, Gardner J, Council L, Linette G, Zhao H, Cornelius, L.A. Ras-Associated Protein-1 Regulates Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase Activation and Migration in Melanoma Cells: Two Processes Important to Melanoma Tumorigenesis and Metastasis. Cancer Res. 2006 66: 7880-7888.

Klekotka, P. Cornelius, L.A. Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. In: The Washington University School of Medicine Manual of Oncology. Editor: Ramaswamy Govindin, Lippincott, St. Louis, MO.