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Pigment Cell Res. 1995 Apr;8(2):97-104.

The expression of tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related proteins 1 and 2 (TRP1 and TRP2), the silver protein, and a melanogenic inhibitor in human melanoma cells of differing melanogenic activities.

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Department of Dermatology, Kitasato Institute Medical Center Hospital, Saitama, Japan.


The expression of various melanogenic proteins, including tyrosinase, the tyrosinase-related proteins 1 (TRP1) and 2 (TRP2/DOPAchrome tautomerase), and the silver protein in human melanocytes was studied in six different human melanoma cell lines and compared to a mouse derived melanoma cell line. Analysis of the expression of tyrosinase, TRP1, TRP2, and the silver protein using flow cytometry revealed that in general there was a positive correlation between melanin formation and the expression of those melanogenic enzymes. Although several of the melanoma cell lines possessed significant activities of TRP2, the levels of DOPAchrome tautomerase in extracts of human cells were relatively low compared to those in murine melanocytes. Melanins derived from melanotic murine JB/MS cells, from melanotic human Ihara cells and HM-IY cells, from sepia melanin, and from C57BL/6 mouse hair were chemically analyzed. JB/MS cells, as well as Ihara cells and HM-TY cells, possessed significant amounts of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) derived melanins, this being dependent on the activity of TRP2. Kinetic HPLC assays showed that 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) produced during melanogenesis was metabolized quickly to melanin in pigmented KHm-1/4 cells, whereas DHI was stable in amelanotic human SK-MEL-24 cells. A melanogenic inhibitor that has been purified from SK-MEL-24 cells that suppressed oxidation of DHI in the presence or absence of tyrosinase, but had no effect on DHICA oxidation. The sum of these results suggests that the expression of melanogenic enzymes as well as the activity of a melanogenic inhibitor are critical to the production of melanin synthesis in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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