High MITF Expression Is Associated with Super-Enhancers and Suppressed by CDK7 Inhibition in MelanomaCutaneous melanoma is an aggressive tumor that accounts for most skin cancer deaths. Among the physiological barriers against therapeutic success is a strong survival program driven by genes such as MITF that specify melanocyte identity, a phenomenon known in melanoma biology as lineage dependency. MITF overexpression is occasionally explained by gene amplification, but here we show that super-enhancers are also important determinants of MITF overexpression in some melanoma cell lines and tumors.
Caveolin-1 Controls Hyperresponsiveness to Mechanical Stimuli and Fibrogenesis-Associated RUNX2 Activation in Keloid FibroblastsKeloids are pathological scars characterized by excessive extracellular matrix production that are prone to form in body sites with increased skin tension. CAV1, the principal coat protein of caveolae, has been associated with the regulation of cell mechanics, including cell softening and loss of stiffness sensing ability in NIH3T3 fibroblasts. Although CAV1 is present in low amounts in keloid fibroblasts (KFs), the causal association between CAV1 down-regulation and its aberrant responses to mechanical stimuli remain unclear.
Melanocytes Sense Blue Light and Regulate Pigmentation through Opsin-3The shorter wavelengths of the visible light spectrum have been recently reported to induce a long-lasting hyperpigmentation but only in melano-competent individuals. Here, we provide evidence showing that OPN3 is the key sensor in melanocytes responsible for hyperpigmentation induced by the shorter wavelengths of visible light. The melanogenesis induced through OPN3 is calcium dependent and further activates CAMKII followed by CREB, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and p38, leading to the phosphorylation of MITF and ultimately to the increase of the melanogenesis enzymes: tyrosinase and dopachrome tautomerase.
STING Is Involved in Antiviral Immune Response against VZV Infection via the Induction of Type I and III IFN PathwaysVaricella zoster virus (VZV) is a human-restricted α-herpesvirus that exhibits tropism for the skin. The VZV host receptors and downstream signaling pathways responsible for the antiviral innate immune response in the skin are not completely understood. Here, we show that STING mediates an important host defense against VZV infection in dermal cells including human dermal fibroblasts and HaCaT keratinocytes. Inhibition of STING using small interfering-RNA or short hairpin RNA-mediated gene disruption resulted in enhanced viral replication but diminished IRF3 phosphorylation and induction of IFNs and proinflammatory cytokines.
Simvastatin Protects Human Melanocytes from H2O2-Induced Oxidative Stress by Activating Nrf2The prevention of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced oxidative stress has proved to be beneficial to vitiligo patients. Simvastatin possesses antioxidative capacity and has shown protective effect in various oxidative stress-related diseases. However, whether simvastatin can protect human melanocytes against oxidative stress has not been investigated. In this study, we initially found that pretreatment with 0.1 μmol/L to 1.0 μmol/L simvastatin led to increased cell viability and decreased cell apoptosis of melanocytes in response to H2O2.
Oxidative Damage Control in a Human (Mini-) Organ: Nrf2 Activation Protects against Oxidative Stress-Induced Hair Growth InhibitionThe in situ control of redox insult in human organs is of major clinical relevance, yet remains incompletely understood. Activation of nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2), the “master regulator” of genes controlling cellular redox homeostasis, is advocated as a therapeutic strategy for diseases with severely impaired redox balance. It remains to be shown whether this strategy is effective in human organs, rather than only in isolated human cell types. We have therefore explored the role of Nrf2 in a uniquely accessible human (mini-) organ: scalp hair follicles.
Reactive Oxygen Species Dictate the Apoptotic Response of Melanoma Cells to TH588The effect of MTH1 inhibition on cancer cell survival has been elusive. Here we report that although silencing of MTH1 does not affect survival of melanoma cells, TH588, one of the first-in-class MTH1 inhibitors, kills melanoma cells through apoptosis independently of its inhibitory effect on MTH1. Induction of apoptosis by TH588 was not alleviated by MTH1 overexpression or introduction of the bacterial homolog of MTH1 that has 8-oxodGTPase activity but cannot be inhibited by TH588, indicating that MTH1 inhibition is not the cause of TH588-induced killing of melanoma cells.
Yes-Associated Protein Contributes to the Development of Human Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma via Activation of RASCutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is one of the most common skin malignant tumors with an increasing incidence. Studies have shown that Yes-associated protein (YAP) participates in the development of a variety of tumors as an oncogene, but to our knowledge its role in cSCC has not been reported. In this study, we used immunohistochemistry to show that YAP expression was elevated in cSCC samples of different stages versus in normal skin and that it was well correlated with the progression of the disease.
Xeroderma Pigmentosum Group A Promotes Autophagy to Facilitate Cisplatin Resistance in Melanoma Cells through the Activation of PARP1Xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA), a key protein in the nucleotide excision repair pathway, has been shown to promote the resistance of tumor cells to chemotherapeutic drugs by facilitating the DNA repair process. However, the role of XPA in the resistance of melanoma to platinum-based drugs like cisplatin is largely unknown. In this study, we initially found that XPA was expressed at higher levels in cisplatin-resistant melanoma cells than in cisplatin-sensitive ones. Furthermore, the knockdown of XPA not only increased cellular apoptosis but also inhibited cisplatin-induced autophagy, which rendered the melanoma cells more sensitive to cisplatin.
The Long Noncoding RNA SPRIGHTLY Regulates Cell Proliferation in Primary Human MelanocytesThe long noncoding RNA SPRIGHTLY (formerly SPRY4-IT1), which lies within the intronic region of the SPRY4 gene, is up-regulated in human melanoma cells compared to melanocytes. SPRIGHTLY regulates a number of cancer hallmarks, including proliferation, motility, and apoptosis. To better understand its oncogenic role, SPRIGHTLY was stably transfected into human melanocytes, which resulted in increased cellular proliferation, colony formation, invasion, and development of a multinucleated dendritic-like phenotype.
Spleen Tyrosine Kinase Mediates EGFR Signaling to Regulate Keratinocyte Terminal DifferentiationSpleen tyrosine kinase (Syk), a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase, was initially identified as a crucial regulator in proximal immunoreceptor signaling. Additional studies have revealed its pleiotropic roles, and drugs targeting Syk are under development for inflammatory diseases. Syk expression in the skin has been detected, but its functions in the skin are still unknown. Here, we found that Syk phosphorylation and expression in primary human keratinocytes decreased gradually along with terminal differentiation.
Melanoma Cells Control Antimelanoma CTL Responses via Interaction between TIGIT and CD155 in the Effector PhaseRecently, T-cell immunoreceptor with Ig and ITIM domains (TIGIT) was reported as a candidate for novel immune checkpoints. However, the impact of TIGIT on melanoma-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes in the effector phase remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that melanoma cells control antimelanoma cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses via the TIGIT-CD155 interaction in the effector phase. TIGIT is an inhibitory receptor expressed on T cells, and CD155 is one of the cognate ligands expressed on the tumor cells or antigen-presenting cells.