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Int J Cosmet Sci. 2018 Aug;40(4):328-347. doi: 10.1111/ics.12466. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

Intrinsic and extrinsic regulation of human skin melanogenesis and pigmentation.

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Global Skin Research Center, Ashland, 655, route du Pin Montard, Sophia Antipolis, 06904, France.


In human skin, melanogenesis is a tightly regulated process. Indeed, several extracellular signals are transduced via dedicated signalling pathways and mostly converge to MITF, a transcription factor integrating upstream signalling and regulating downstream genes involved in the various inherent mechanisms modulating melanogenesis. The synthesis of melanin pigments occurs in melanocytes inside melanosomes where melanogenic enzymes (tyrosinase and related proteins) are addressed with the help of specific protein complexes. The melanosomes loaded with melanin are then transferred to keratinocytes. A more elaborate level of melanogenesis regulation comes into play via the action of non-coding RNAs (microRNAs, lncRNAs). Besides this canonical regulation, melanogenesis can also be modulated by other non-specific intrinsic pathways (hormonal environment, inflammation) and by extrinsic factors (solar irradiation such as ultraviolet irradiation, environmental pollution). We developed a bioinformatic interaction network gathering the multiple aspects of melanogenesis and skin pigmentation as a resource to better understand and study skin pigmentation biology.


computer modelling; environmental pollution; melanogenesis; ncRNAs; skin physiology/structure

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