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FEBS Lett. 2000 Jul 28;478(1-2):57-60.

Activation of melanogenesis by vacuolar type H(+)-ATPase inhibitors in amelanotic, tyrosinase positive human and mouse melanoma cells.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Bradford, BD7 1DP, Bradford, UK.


In this study, we describe the activation of melanogenesis by selective vacuolar type H(+)-ATPase inhibitors (bafilomycin A1 and concanamycin A) in amelanotic human and mouse melanoma cells which express tyrosinase but show no melanogenesis. Addition of the inhibitors activated tyrosinase within 4 h, and by 24 h the cells contained measurable amounts of melanin. These effects were not inhibited by cycloheximide (2 microgram/ml) which is consistent with a post-translational mechanism of activation. Our findings suggest that melanosomal pH could be an important and dynamic factor in the control of melanogenesis in mammalian cells.

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