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Pigment Cell Res. 1998 Oct;11(5):275-82.

Enhanced melanogenesis induced by tyrosinase gene-transfer increases boron-uptake and killing effect of boron neutron capture therapy for amelanotic melanoma.

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Mishima Institute for Dermatological Research, Kobe, Japan.


Specific and powerful cancer killing effect for melanoma by boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) using DOPA analogue, 10B-p-boronophenylalanine (10B-BPA), has been established, but amelanotic melanoma is insufficiently responsive to 10B-BPA BNCT in comparison with actively melanin-producing melanoma. Although the accumulation mechanism of 10B-BPA within melanoma was not established, we have recently obtained findings suggesting that melanin monomers, key intermediates for melanin polymer formation, play a critical role in 10B-BPA accumulation. In addition, there are some kinds of human amelanotic melanomas, such as MEL2A, in which expression of tyrosinase is repressed or lacking though tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-1 and TRP-2 are well expressed. Thus, by using a similarly tyrosinase-lacking mouse amelanotic melanoma cell line, A1059, we constructed TA1059 cells by transfecting human tyrosinase-cDNA into these cells. TA1059 cells acquired higher DOPA-oxidase and DOPAchrome tautomerase activity as well as eumelanin content at even higher levels than those of B16F10 cells. TA1059 cells showed about 2.5 times higher P-boronophenylalanine (BPA) uptake than A1059 cells in culture. In animal experiments, by using these cell lines, tumor growth of TA1059 was significantly suppressed by 10B-BPA BNCT as compared with A1059. These findings indicate that the induction of active melanin biosynthesis by melanogenic gene-transfer effectively improves the treatment of amelanotic melanoma by BNCT.

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