Cutaneous malignant melanoma is an aggressive and potentially lethal form of skin cancer, particularly in its advanced and therapy-resistant stages, and the need for novel therapeutics and prognostic tools is acute. Incidence of melanoma has steadily increased over the past few decades, with exposure to the genome-damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) wellrecognized as a primary cause. A number of genetically-engineered mouse models (GEMMs) have been created that exhibit high incidence of spontaneous and induced forms of melanoma, and a select subset recapitulates its progression to aggressive and metastatic forms. These GEMMs hold considerable promise for providing insights into advanced stages of melanoma, such as potential therapeutic targets and prognostic markers, and as in vivo systems for testing of novel therapies. In this review, we summarize how the HGF/SF transgenic mouse has been used to reveal metastasisregulating activity of four different genes (CDK4R24C, survivin and NME1/NME2) in the context of UV-induced melanoma. We also discuss how these models can potentially yield new strategies for clinical management of melanoma in its most aggressive forms.