Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Genet. 1996 Sep;14(1):50-4.

Ectopic expression of MITF, a gene for Waardenburg syndrome type 2, converts fibroblasts to cells with melanocyte characteristics.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, NIH, Rockville, Maryland 20850, USA. mtachiba@pop.nidcd.nih.gov

Abstract

MITF (microphthalmia-associated transcription factor) encodes a transcription factor with a basic-helix-loop-helix-zipper (bHLH-Zip) motif. MITF mutations occur in patients with Waardenburg syndrome type 2, a disorder associated with melanocyte abnormalities. Here we show that ectopic expression of MITF converts NIH/3T3 fibroblasts into cells with characteristics of melanocytes. MITF transfectants formed foci of morphologically altered cells, which resemble those induced by oncogenes, but did not exhibit malignant phenotypes. Instead, they contained dendritic cells that express melanogenic marker proteins such as tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein 1. Most cloned cells of MITF transfectants exhibited dendritic morphology and expressed melanogenic markers, but such properties were not observed in cells transfected with closely related TFE3 cDNA. Our findings indicate that MITF is critically involved in melanocyte differentiation.

PMID:
8782819
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk