Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.301, No.2, 610-616, 2003
In situ and in vitro evidence for DCoH/HNF-1 alpha transcription of tyrosinase in human skin melanocytes
Human epidermal melanocytes hold the full capacity for autocrine de novo synthesis/regulation/recycling of the essential cofactor 6-tetrahydrobiopterin (6BH(4)) for conversion Of L-phenylalanine via phenylalanine hydroxylase to L-tyrosine and for production Of L-Dopa via tyrosine hydroxylase to initiate both pigmentation and catecholamine synthesis in these neural crest-derived cells. Earlier we have demonstrated pterin-4a-carbinolamine dehydratase (PCD) mRNA and enzyme activities in epidermal melanocytes and keratinocytes. This protein dimerises also the transcription factor hepatocyte nuclear factor 1 (HNF-1), leading to activation of multiple genes. This study demonstrates for the first time DCoH/HNF-1alpha expression and transcriptional activity in human epidermal melanocytes in vitro and in situ and identified tyrosinase, the key enzyme for pigmentation, as a new transcriptional target. Specific binding of DCoH/HNF-1 complex to the human tyrosinase promoter was confirmed by gel shift analysis. These results provide a novel mechanism in the regulation of skin pigmentation. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.