Gertrude-E Costin

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All organisms, from simple invertebrates to complex human beings, exist in different colors and patterns, which arise from the unique distribution of pigments throughout the body. Pigmentation is highly heritable, being regulated by genetic, environmental, and endocrine factors that modulate the amount, type, and distribution of melanins in the skin, hair,(More)
Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is caused by reduced or deficient melanin pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes. OCA has different phenotypes resulting from mutations in distinct pigmentation genes involved in melanogenesis. OCA type 2 (OCA2), the most common form of OCA, is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the P gene, the function(s)(More)
Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) type 4 is a newly identified human autosomal recessive hypopigmentary disorder that disrupts pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. Three other forms of OCA have been previously characterized, each resulting from the aberrant processing and/or sorting of tyrosinase, the enzyme critical to pigment production in mammals. The(More)
Proteasomes are multicatalytic proteinase complexes within cells that selectively degrade ubiquitinated proteins. We have recently demonstrated that fatty acids, major components of cell membranes, are able to regulate the proteasomal degradation of tyrosinase, a critical enzyme required for melanin biosynthesis, in contrasting manners by relative increases(More)
Five melanocortin receptors, which form a subfamily of G protein-coupled receptors, are expressed in mammalian tissues and regulate such diverse physiological processes as pigmentation, adrenal function, energy homeostasis, feeding efficiency, and sebaceous gland lipid production, as well as immune and sexual function. Pigmentation in mammals is stimulated(More)
Melanosomes provide an intriguing model for study at many levels. In part this is due to their unique structure and function, but also in part to their involvement in pigmentary diseases and as a model to study basic cellular mechanisms of organelle biogenesis. Recent studies have elucidated the full proteome of the melanosome and the metabolic and(More)
Tyrosinase, the key enzyme of melanin biosynthesis, is inactivated in melanoma cells following the incubation with the imino-sugar N-butyldeoxynojirimycin, an inhibitor of the endoplasmic reticulum N-glycosylation processing. We have previously shown that tyrosinase inhibition requires high NB-DNJ concentrations, suggesting an inefficient cellular uptake of(More)
Dopachrome tautomerase (Dct) is a type I membrane protein and an important regulatory enzyme that plays a pivotal role in the biosynthesis of melanin and in the rapid metabolism of its toxic intermediates. Dct-mutant melanocytes carrying the slaty or slaty light mutations were derived from the skin of newborn congenic C57BL/6J non-agouti black mice and were(More)
Melanin synthesized by epidermal melanocytes protects the skin against UVR-induced DNA damage and skin cancer. Exposure to UVR increases the synthesis of the photoprotective eumelanin on activation of MC1R, a melanoma susceptibility gene. We studied the expression of MC1R under UVR and alpha-MSH stimulation in skin of different ethnic origins and in(More)