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Cell Rep. 2017 Jun 13;19(11):2177-2184. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.05.042.

A UV-Independent Topical Small-Molecule Approach for Melanin Production in Human Skin.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA; Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.
2
Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02215, USA; Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
3
Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.
4
Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA. Electronic address: dfisher3@mgh.harvard.edu.

Abstract

The presence of dark melanin (eumelanin) within human epidermis represents one of the strongest predictors of low skin cancer risk. Topical rescue of eumelanin synthesis, previously achieved in "redhaired" Mc1r-deficient mice, demonstrated significant protection against UV damage. However, application of a topical strategy for human skin pigmentation has not been achieved, largely due to the greater barrier function of human epidermis. Salt-inducible kinase (SIK) has been demonstrated to regulate MITF, the master regulator of pigment gene expression, through its effects on CRTC and CREB activity. Here, we describe the development of small-molecule SIK inhibitors that were optimized for human skin penetration, resulting in MITF upregulation and induction of melanogenesis. When topically applied, pigment production was induced in Mc1r-deficient mice and normal human skin. These findings demonstrate a realistic pathway toward UV-independent topical modulation of human skin pigmentation, potentially impacting UV protection and skin cancer risk.

KEYWORDS:

eumelanin; microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF); pigmentation; salt-inducible kinase (SIK); topical drug

PMID:
28614705
PMCID:
PMC5549921
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2017.05.042
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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