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J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Jun;133(6):1591-600. doi: 10.1038/jid.2013.18. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Topobiology of human pigmentation: P-cadherin selectively stimulates hair follicle melanogenesis.

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1
Department of Dermatology, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Abstract

P-cadherin serves as a major topobiological cue in mammalian epithelium. In human hair follicles (HFs), it is prominently expressed in the inner hair matrix that harbors the HF pigmentary unit. However, the role of P-cadherin in normal human pigmentation remains unknown. As patients with mutations in the gene that encodes P-cadherin show hypotrichosis and fair hair, we explored the hypothesis that P-cadherin may control HF pigmentation. When P-cadherin was silenced in melanogenically active organ-cultured human scalp HFs, this significantly reduced HF melanogenesis and tyrosinase activity as well as gene and/or protein expression of gp100, stem cell factor, c-Kit, and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), both in situ and in isolated human HF melanocytes. Instead, epidermal pigmentation was unaffected by P-cadherin knockdown in organ-cultured human skin. In hair matrix keratinocytes, P-cadherin silencing reduced plasma membrane β-catenin, whereas glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) and phospho-β-catenin expression were significantly upregulated. This suggests that P-cadherin-GSK3β/Wnt signaling is required for maintaining the expression of MITF to sustain intrafollicular melanogenesis. Thus, P-cadherin-mediated signaling is a melanocyte subtype-specific topobiological regulator of normal human pigmentation, possibly via GSK3β-mediated canonical Wnt signaling.

PMID:
23334344
DOI:
10.1038/jid.2013.18
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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