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Exp Cell Res. 1993 Jul;207(1):33-40.

Eumelanin biosynthesis is regulated by coordinate expression of tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein-1 genes.

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Department of Biochemistry, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Japan.


Melanin is specifically produced in melanocytes. The pathway for melanin biosynthesis is regulated by a number of melanocyte-specific proteins, including tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1, b locus protein). To understand the regulation of melanogenesis, we examined tyrosinase activities, mRNA levels of tyrosinase and TRP-1, and eumelanin and pheomelanin contents in mouse B16-F1 melanoma cells after they had been treated with some melanotropic reagents. Cholera toxin, alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, and dibutyryl cyclic AMP increased tyrosinase activity and stimulated eumelanin biosynthesis. These reagents elevated intracellular cAMP levels. In contrast, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate reduced tyrosinase activity and eumelanin synthesis. In all cases, the mRNA levels of tyrosinase and TRP-1 changed in parallel with tyrosinase activity and eumelanin content. TRP-1 was induced simultaneously with tyrosinase, although its inducibility was lower than that of tyrosinase. These results suggest that the expressions of tyrosinase and TRP-1 genes are coordinately regulated by melanotropic reagents through cAMP-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase C in mouse B16-F1 cells, and that their coordinate expression causes eumelanin biosynthesis.

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