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Systematic analyses of cancer genomes promise to unveil patterns of genetic alterations linked to the genesis and spread of human cancers. High-density single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays enable detailed and genome-wide identification of both loss-of-heterozygosity events and copy-number alterations in cancer. Here, by integrating SNP array-based(More)
Germline mutations at loci encoding the transcription factor Microphthalmia (Mi), the cytokine receptor c-Kit, or its ligand Steel factor (S1) result in strikingly similar defects in mast cell and melanocyte development. Here we describe a biochemical link between Kit signalling and the activity of Mi. Stimulation of melanoma cells with S1 results in(More)
UV-induced pigmentation (suntanning) requires induction of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) secretion by keratinocytes. alpha-MSH and other bioactive peptides are cleavage products of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). Here we provide biochemical and genetic evidence demonstrating that UV induction of POMC/MSH in skin is directly controlled by(More)
The therapeutic responsiveness of genetically defined tumors expressing or devoid of the p53 tumor suppressor gene was compared in immunocompromised mice. Tumors expressing the p53 gene contained a high proportion of apoptotic cells and typically regressed after treatment with gamma radiation or adriamycin. In contrast, p53-deficient tumors treated with the(More)
Kit/SCF signaling and Mitf-dependent transcription are both essential for melanocyte development and pigmentation. To identify Mitf-dependent Kit transcriptional targets in primary melanocytes, microarray studies were undertaken. Among identified targets was BCL2, whose germline deletion produces melanocyte loss and which exhibited phenotypic synergy with(More)
Melanocyte differentiation characterized by an increased melanogenesis, is stimulated by alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone through activation of the cAMP pathway. During this process, the expression of tyrosinase, the enzyme that controls melanin synthesis is upregulated. We previously showed that cAMP regulates transcription of the tyrosinase gene(More)
Melanoma is the most lethal form of skin cancer, and the incidence and mortality rates are rapidly rising. Epidemiologically, high numbers of nevi (moles) are associated with higher risk of melanoma . The majority of melanomas exhibit activating mutations in the serine/threonine kinase BRAF . BRAF mutations may be critical for the initiation of melanoma ;(More)
While advanced melanoma remains one of the most challenging cancers, recent developments in our understanding of the molecular drivers of this disease have uncovered exciting opportunities to guide personalized therapeutic decisions. Genetic analyses of melanoma have uncovered several key molecular pathways that are involved in disease onset and(More)
Studies of coat color mutants have greatly contributed to the discovery of genes that regulate melanocyte development and function. Here, we generated Yy1 conditional knockout mice in the melanocyte-lineage and observed profound melanocyte deficiency and premature gray hair, similar to the loss of melanocytes in human piebaldism and Waardenburg syndrome.(More)
Microphthalmia (Mi) is a basic helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper (b-HLH-ZIP) transcription factor implicated in pigmentation, mast cells, and bone development. Two dominant-negative mi alleles (mi/mi and Mior/Mior) in mice cause osteopetrosis. In contrast, osteopetrosis has not been observed in a number of recessive mi alleles, suggesting the existence of Mi(More)