May 19, 2005

alpha-Melanocortin and endothelin-1 activate antiapoptotic pathways and reduce DNA damage in human melanocytes

Cancer Research
Ana Luisa KadekaroZalfa A Abdel-Malek


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 survival and genomic stability of epidermal melanocytes is critical for inhibiting photocarcinogenesis, particularly melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. The paracrine factors alpha-melanocortin and endothelin-1 are critical for the melanogenic response of cultured human melanocytes to UV radiation. We report that alpha-melanocortin and endothelin-1 rescued human melanocytes from UV radiation-induced apoptosis and reduced DNA photoproducts and oxidative stress. The survival effects of alpha-melanocortin and endothelin-1 were mediated by activation of the melanocortin 1 and endothelin receptors, respectively. Treatment of melanocytes with alpha-melanocortin and/or endothelin-1 before exposure to UV radiation activated the inositol triphosphate kinase-Akt pathway and increased the phosphorylation and expression of the microphthalmia-related transcription factor. Trea...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Malignant Neoplasm of Skin
Biochemical Pathway
Hydrogen Peroxide
ACTH (1-13)NH2
Apoptosis, Intrinsic Pathway
Genomic Stability
Protein Phosphorylation
Protein kinase B gamma

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