The expression of the dopachrome tautomerase gent (Dct) and its protein product, tyrosinase-related protein-2, was studied in the cultured, phorbol- ester-dependent murine melanocyte cell line melan-a. Increased cell density was found to stimulate Dct expression both in cells stably transfected with a Dct promoter-lacZ construct and endogenously in nontransfected cells. Increased Dct expression under these conditions corresponds to increased tyrosinase-related protein-2 production. Tyrosinase-related protein-2 was found to exist in two distinct glycoforms with different endoglycosidase sensitivities. Density-dependent expression of tyrosinase-related protein-2 was independent of time of cell growth, cell proliferation, and soluble factors, implying that cell-cell contact is the important determinant governing increased Dct expression under these conditions. Tyrp1 gent expression and tyrosinase-related protein-1 production were also induced under similar conditions. The results show that cell-cell contact between melanocytes induces a coordinated response at both transcriptional and nontranscriptional levels that induces production of the tyrosinase-related proteins that have a significant role in melanization.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology