Metabolomics of primary cutaneous melanoma and matched adjacent extratumoral microenvironment.
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BACKGROUND: Melanoma causes the vast majority of deaths attributable to skin cancer, largely due to its propensity for metastasis. To date, few studies have examined molecular changes between primary cutaneous melanoma and adjacent putatively normal skin. To broaden temporal inferences related to initiation of disease, we performed a metabolomics investigation of primary melanoma and matched extratumoral microenvironment (EM) tissues; and, to make inferences about progressive disease, we also compared unmatched metastatic melanoma tissues to EM tissues. METHODS: Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolic profiling was performed on frozen human tissues. RESULTS: We observed 824 metabolites as differentially abundant among 33 matched tissue samples, and 1,118 metabolites as differentially abundant between metastatic melanoma (n = 46) and EM (n = 34) after false discovery rate (FDR) adjustment (p<0.01). No significant differences in metabolite abundances were noted comparing primary and metastatic melanoma tissues. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, pathway-based results significantly distinguished melanoma tissues from EM in the metabolism of: ascorbate and aldarate, propanoate, tryptophan, histidine, and pyrimidine. Within pathways, the majority of individual metabolite abundances observed in comparisons of primary melanoma vs. EM and metastatic melanoma vs. EM were directionally consistent. This observed concordance suggests most identified compounds are implicated in the initiation or maintenance of melanoma.