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UV radiation is an important etiologic factor for skin cancer, including melanoma. Constitutive pigmentation and the ability to tan are considered the main photoprotective mechanism against sun-induced carcinogenesis. Pigmentation in the skin is conferred by epidermal melanocytes that synthesize and transfer melanin to keratinocytes. Therefore, insuring the(More)
BACKGROUND The immune dysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked (IPEX) syndrome is a rare genodermatosis associated with dermatitis, enteropathy, type 1 diabetes, thyroiditis, hemolytic anemia, and thrombocytopenia. IPEX results from mutations of FOXP3, a gene located on the X chromosome that encodes a DNA-binding protein required for(More)
To survive and proliferate in pure culture, human melanocytes require basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and cAMP. Without these factors, even in the presence of serum, the cells die. Melanocytes cultured in the presence of keratinocytes, however, survive for weeks without added bFGF and cAMP. We show here that the growth factor for melanocytes produced(More)
Melanosomes are specialized melanin-synthesizing organelles critical for photoprotection in the skin. Melanosome transfer to keratinocytes, which involves whole organelle donation to another cell, is a unique biological process and is poorly understood. Time-lapse digital movies and electron microscopy show that filopodia from melanocyte dendrites serve as(More)
Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is a mitogen for normal human melanocytes and keratinocytes in culture. Experiments in vitro suggest that keratinocytes supply bFGF to melanocytes through a paracrine mechanism and that the aberrant expression of bFGF in melanomas confers growth independence from bFGF-producing cells. To determine whether bFGF is(More)
Telomerase is frequently expressed in cancer and contributes to carcinogenesis. Two recent publications report the identification of a set of recurrent mutations in melanoma in the promoter of the telomerase reverse transcriptase gene (TERT) that appears to be the result of mutagenesis from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Both groups reported that the mutations(More)
The incidence of skin cancer is on the rise, with over 1 million new cases yearly. Although it is known that squamous cell cancers (SCC) are caused by UV light, the mechanism(s) involved remains poorly understood. In vitro studies with epithelial cells or reports examining malignant skin lesions suggest that loss of E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell contacts(More)
Recent reports show that components of the extracellular matrix function as cell survival factors through the suppression of apoptosis (programmed cell death). In this report we show that attachment to fibronectin suppresses apoptosis of normal human fetal and neonatal melanocytes in vitro and that prevention of attachment to underlying matrix or attachment(More)
Photoprotection of the skin is provided by melanocytes, neural crest derived cells that synthesize melanin in specialized organelles that are transferred to keratinocytes. Secretory phospholipases comprise a large family of Ca2+-dependent enzymes that liberate arachidonic acid (AA), a precursor of prostaglandins, as well as lysophospholipids. The(More)
Melanocytes arise from the neural crest, migrate to the skin, and can be detected in the basal layer of the epidermis in skin biopsies of human fetuses as early as 11 weeks gestational age. During post-natal life, melanocytes reside at the basal layer of the epidermis, but the ligands to which they attach are unknown. Laminin-5 is a component of anchoring(More)