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Int J Med Sci. 2013;10(6):699-706. doi: 10.7150/ijms.5664. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Wnt5a inhibits the proliferation and melanogenesis of melanocytes.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China.


Wnt5a, which is a noncanonical Wnt molecule, has been shown to be involved in a variety of developmental processes and cellular functions. In this study, we used "melan-a" cells as a cell model to investigate the effects of Wnt5a on melanocyte proliferation and melanogenesis, and to elucidate the possible mechanisms involved. We infected melan-a cells with recombinant Wnt5a adenoviruses to express Wnt5a protein and to simulate the Wnt5a processing environment. MTT assay and BrdU incorporation assay revealed that Wnt5a significantly inhibited the proliferation of melan-a cells. Melanin content and tyrosinase activity assays showed that Wnt5a was an inhibitor of melanin synthesis. Furthermore, RT-PCR and Western blot showed that this suppressive effect depended on noncanonical Wnt/Ror2 pathway activation and accessed the inhibition of the canonical Wnt pathway. The above results provided a novel insight into the role of Wnt5a and its related signaling in melanocyte homeostasis.


Wnt/Ror2 pathway.; Wnt5a; melanocyte; melanogenesis; proliferation

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