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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2014 Aug;29:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2014.02.003. Epub 2014 Mar 21.

Melanosome transfer: it is best to give and receive.

Author information

1
Cell Biology and Physiology Center, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, United States.
2
Cell Biology and Physiology Center, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, United States. Electronic address: hammerj@nhlbi.nih.gov.

Abstract

The pigmentation of skin and hair in mammals is driven by the creation within melanocytes of melanosomes, a specialized pigment-producing organelle, and the subsequent intercellular transfer of this organelle to keratinocytes. This latter process is absolutely required for visible pigmentation and effective photo-protection because it serves to disperse the pigment in skin and hair. Therefore, the transfer of melanosomes from the melanocyte to the keratinocyte is as important for the biological endpoint of mammalian pigmentation as the biogenesis of this fascinating organelle. Here we review new findings that shed light on, and raise additional questions about, the mechanism of this enigmatic process.

PMID:
24662021
PMCID:
PMC4130791
DOI:
10.1016/j.ceb.2014.02.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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