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Multidrug resistance mechanisms underlying the intractability of malignant melanomas remain largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that the development of multidrug resistance in melanomas involves subcellular sequestration of intracellular cytotoxic drugs such as cis-diaminedichloroplatinum II (cisplatin; CDDP). CDDP is initially sequestered in(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)
The melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) is a key regulator of pigmentation in mammals and is tightly linked to an increased risk of skin cancers, including melanoma, in humans. Physiologically activated by alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alphaMSH), MC1R function can be antagonized by a secreted factor, agouti signal protein (ASP), which is responsible for(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)
Fatty acids are common components of biological membranes that are known to play important roles in intracellular signaling. We report here a novel mechanism by which fatty acids regulate the degradation of tyrosinase, a critical enzyme associated with melanin biosynthesis in melanocytes and melanoma cells. Linoleic acid (unsaturated fatty acid, C18:2)(More)
Various types of oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) are associated with reduced pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes that results from mutations in genes involved in melanin synthesis. Immortal mouse melanocyte lines (melan-a, melan-b, and melan-c) provide opportune models with which to investigate the etiology of two different types of OCA (types I and(More)
Treatments for primary and metastatic melanomas are rarely effective. Even therapeutics such as retinoic acid (RA) that are successfully used to treat several other forms of cancer are ineffective. Recent evidence indicates that the antiproliferative effects of RA are mediated by the transcription factor SOX9 in human cancer cell lines. As we have(More)
Pigmentation of the hair, skin, and eyes of mammals results from a number of melanocyte-specific proteins that are required for the biosynthesis of melanin. Those proteins comprise the structural and enzymatic components of melanosomes, the membrane-bound organelles in which melanin is synthesized and deposited. Tyrosinase (TYR) is absolutely required for(More)
Melanosomes, specific organelles produced only by melanocytes, undergo a unique maturation process that involves their transition form amorphous rounded vesicles to fibrillar ellipsoid organelles, during which they move from the perinuclear to the distal areas of the cells. This depends upon the trafficking and processing of gp100 (also known as Pmel17 and(More)