A melanosomal two-pore sodium channel regulates pigmentation.
ABSTRACT: Intracellular organelles mediate complex cellular functions that often require ion transport across their membranes. Melanosomes are organelles responsible for the synthesis of the major mammalian pigment melanin. Defects in melanin synthesis result in pigmentation defects, visual deficits, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. Although genes encoding putative melanosomal ion transporters have been identified as key regulators of melanin synthesis, melanosome ion transport and its contribution to pigmentation remain poorly understood. Here we identify two-pore channel 2 (TPC2) as the first reported melanosomal cation conductance by directly patch-clamping skin and eye melanosomes. TPC2 has been implicated in human pigmentation and melanoma, but the molecular mechanism mediating this function was entirely unknown. We demonstrate that the vesicular signaling lipid phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate PI(3,5)P2 modulates TPC2 activity to control melanosomal membrane potential, pH, and regulate pigmentation.
Project description:Melanosomes are unique organelles in melanocytes that produce melanin, the pigment for skin, hair, and eye color. Tyrosinase is the essential and rate-limiting enzyme for melanin production, that strictly requires neutral pH for activity. pH maintenance is a result of the combinational function of multiple ion transport proteins. Thus, ion homeostasis in melanosomes is crucial for melanin synthesis. Defect of the ion transport system causes various pigmentation phenotypes, from mild effect to severe disorders such as albinism. In this review, we summarize the up-to-date knowledge of the ion transport system, such as transport function, structure, and the physiological roles and mechanisms of the ion transport proteins in melanosomes. In addition, we propose a model of melanosomal ion transport system-how the functional coupling of multiple transport proteins modulates and maintains ion homeostasis. We discuss melanin synthesis in terms of the ion transport system.
Project description:Intracellular ion channels are essential regulators of organellar and cellular function, yet the molecular identity and physiological role of many of these channels remains elusive. In particular, no ion channel has been characterized in melanosomes, organelles that produce and store the major mammalian pigment melanin. Defects in melanosome function cause albinism, characterized by vision and pigmentation deficits, impaired retinal development, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. The most common form of albinism is caused by mutations in oculocutaneous albinism II (OCA2), a melanosome-specific transmembrane protein with unknown function. Here we used direct patch-clamp of skin and eye melanosomes to identify a novel chloride-selective anion conductance mediated by OCA2 and required for melanin production. Expression of OCA2 increases organelle pH, suggesting that the chloride channel might regulate melanin synthesis by modulating melanosome pH. Thus, a melanosomal anion channel that requires OCA2 is essential for skin and eye pigmentation.
Project description:Melanocytes present in skin and other organs synthesize and store melanin pigment within membrane-delimited organelles called melanosomes. Exposure of human skin to ultraviolet radiation (UV) stimulates melanin production in melanosomes, followed by transfer of melanosomes from melanocytes to neighboring keratinocytes. Melanosomal function is critical for protecting skin against UV radiation, but the mechanisms underlying melanosomal movement and transfer are not well understood. Here we report a novel fluorescent melanosomal marker, which we used to measure real-time melanosomal dynamics in live human epidermal melanocytes (HEMs) and transfer in melanocyte-keratinocyte co-cultures. A fluorescent fusion protein of Ocular Albinism 1 (OA1) localized to melanosomes in both B16-F1 cells and HEMs, and its expression did not significantly alter melanosomal distribution. Live-cell tracking of OA1-GFP-tagged melanosomes revealed a bimodal kinetic profile, with melanosomes exhibiting combinations of slow and fast movement. We also found that exposure to UV radiation increased the fraction of melanosomes exhibiting fast versus slow movement. In addition, using OA1-GFP in live co-cultures, we monitored melanosomal transfer using time-lapse microscopy. These results highlight OA1-GFP as a specific and effective melanosomal marker for live-cell studies, reveal new aspects of melanosomal dynamics and transfer, and are relevant to understanding the skin's physiological response to UV radiation.
Project description: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 subcellular organelles such as melanosomes, which significantly reduces its nuclear localization when compared with nonmelanoma/KB-3-1 epidermoid carcinoma cells. The melanosomal accumulation of CDDP remarkably modulates melanogenesis through a pronounced increase in tyrosinase activity. The altered melanogenesis manifested an approximately 8-fold increase in both intracellular pigmentation and extracellular transport of melanosomes containing CDDP. Thus, our experiments provide evidence that melanosomes contribute to the refractory properties of melanoma cells by sequestering cytotoxic drugs and increasing melanosome-mediated drug export. Preventing melanosomal sequestration of cytotoxic drugs by inhibiting the functions of melanosomes may have great potential as an approach to improving the chemosensitivity of melanoma cells.
Project description:Melanosomes are unique membrane-bound organelles specialized for the synthesis and distribution of melanin. Mechanisms involved in the trafficking of proteins to melanosomes and in the transport of mature pigmented melanosomes to the dendrites of melanocytic cells are being characterized, but details about those processes during early stages of melanosome maturation are not well understood. Early melanosomes must remain in the perinuclear area until critical components are assembled. In this study, we characterized the processing of two distinct melanosomal proteins, tyrosinase (TYR) and Pmel17, to elucidate protein processing in early or late steps of the secretory pathway, respectively, and to determine mechanisms underlying the subcellular localization and transport of early melanosomes. We used immunological, biochemical, and molecular approaches to demonstrate that the movement of early melanosomes in the perinuclear area depends primarily on microtubules but not on actin filaments. In contrast, the trafficking of TYR and Pmel17 depends on cytoplasmic dynein and its interaction with the spectrin/ankyrin system, which is involved with the sorting of cargo from the plasma membrane. These results provide important clues toward understanding the processes involved with early events in melanosome formation and transport.
Project description:Melanin pigment has a significant role in ocular pharmacokinetics, because many drugs bind at high extent to melanin in the retinal pigment epithelial cells. Most retinal pigment epithelial cell lines lack pigmentation and, therefore, we re-pigmented human ARPE-19 cells to generate a pigmented cell model. Melanosomes from porcine retinal pigment epithelium were isolated and co-incubated with ARPE-19 cells that spontaneously phagocytosed the melanosomes. Internalized melanosomes were functionally integrated to the cellular system as evidenced by correct translocation of cellular Rab27a protein to the melanosomal membranes. The pigmentation was retained during cell cultivation and the level of pigmentation can be controlled by altering the amount of administered melanosomes. We used these cells to study melanosomal uptake of six drugs. The uptake was negligible with low melanin-binders (methotrexate, diclofenac) whereas most of the high melanin-binders (propranolol, chloroquine) were extensively taken up by the melanosomes. This cell line can be used to model pigmentation of the retinal pigment epithelium, while maintaining the beneficial cell line characteristics, such as fast generation of cultures, low cost, long-term maintenance and good reproducibility. The model enables studies at normal and decreased levels of pigmentation to model different retinal conditions.
Project description:Melanosomes are a class of lysosome-related organelles produced by melanocytes. Biogenesis of melanosomes requires the transport of melanin-synthesizing enzymes from tubular recycling endosomes to maturing melanosomes. The SNARE proteins involved in these transport or fusion steps have been poorly studied. We found that depletion of syntaxin 13 (STX13, also known as STX12), a recycling endosomal Qa-SNARE, inhibits pigment granule maturation in melanocytes by rerouting the melanosomal proteins such as TYR and TYRP1 to lysosomes. Furthermore, live-cell imaging and electron microscopy studies showed that STX13 co-distributed with melanosomal cargo in the tubular-vesicular endosomes that are closely associated with the maturing melanosomes. STX family proteins contain an N-terminal regulatory domain, and deletion of this domain in STX13 increases both the SNARE activity in vivo and melanosome cargo transport and pigmentation, suggesting that STX13 acts as a fusion SNARE in melanosomal trafficking pathways. In addition, STX13-dependent cargo transport requires the melanosomal R-SNARE VAMP7, and its silencing blocks the melanosome maturation, reflecting a defect in endosome-melanosome fusion. Moreover, we show mutual dependency between STX13 and VAMP7 in regulating their localization for efficient cargo delivery to melanosomes.
Project description:The SLC45A2 gene encodes a Membrane-Associated Transporter Protein (MATP). Mutations of this gene cause oculocutaneous albinism type 4 (OCA4). However, the molecular mechanism of its action in melanogenesis has not been elucidated. Here, we discuss the role of MATP in melanin production. The SLC45A2 gene is highly enriched in human melanocytes and melanoma cell lines, and its protein, MATP, is located in melanosomes. The knockdown of MATP using siRNAs reduced melanin content and tyrosinase activity without any morphological change in melanosomes or the expression of melanogenesis-related proteins. Interestingly, the knockdown of MATP significantly lowered the melanosomal pH, as verified through DAMP analysis, suggesting that MATP regulates melanosomal pH and therefore affects tyrosinase activity. Finally, we found that the reduction of tyrosinase activity associated with the knockdown of MATP was readily recovered by copper treatment in the in vitro L-DOPA oxidase activity assay of tyrosinase. Considering that copper is an important element for tyrosinase activity and that its binding to tyrosinase depends on melanosomal pH, MATP may play an important role in regulating tyrosinase activity via controlling melanosomal pH.
Project description:Melanins are synthesized in melanocytes within specialized organelles called melanosomes. Numerous studies have shown that the pH of melanosome plays a key role in the regulation of melanin synthesis. However, until now, acute regulation of melanosome pH by a physiological stimulus has never been demonstrated. In the present study, we show that the activation of the cAMP pathway by alphaMSH or forskolin leads to an alkalinization of melanosomes and a concomitant regulation of vacuolar ATPases and ion transporters of the solute carrier family. The solute carrier family members include SLC45A2, which is mutated in oculocutaneous albinism type IV, SLC24A4 and SLC24A5, proteins implicated in the control of eye, hair, and skin pigmentation, and the P protein, encoded by the oculocutaneous albinism type II locus. Interestingly, H89, a pharmacological inhibitor of protein kinase A (PKA), prevents the cAMP-induced pigmentation and induces acidification of melanosomes. The drastic depigmenting effect of H89 is not due to an inhibition of tyrosinase expression. Indeed, H89 blocks the induction of melanogenesis induced by LY294002, a potent inhibitor of the PI 3-kinase pathway, without any effect on tyrosinase expression. Furthermore, PKA is not involved in the inhibition of pigmentation promoted by H89 because LY294002 induces pigmentation independently of PKA. Also, other PKA inhibitors do not affect pigmentation. Taken together, our results strengthen the support for a key role of melanosome pH in the regulation of melanin synthesis and, for the first time, demonstrate that melanosome pH is regulated by cAMP and alphaMSH. Notably, these are both mediators of the response to solar UV radiation, the main physiological stimulus of skin pigmentation.
Project description:Pigmentation is the result of a complex process by which the biopolymer melanin is synthesized and packed into melanosomes of melanocytes. Various types of oculocutaneous albinism (OCA), a series of autosomal recessive disorders, are associated with reduced pigmentation in the skin, eyes, and hair due to genetic mutations of proteins involved in melanogenesis. Human tyrosinase (Tyr) and tyrosinase-related protein 1 (Tyrp1) drives the enzymatic process of pigment bio-polymerization. However, within the melanogenic pathway, Tyrp1 has catalytic functions not clearly defined and distinct from Tyr. Here, we characterize the biochemical and biophysical properties of recombinant human Tyrp1. For this purpose, we purified and analyzed the intra-melanosomal domain (Tyrp1tr) for protein stability and enzymatic function in conditions mimicking the environment within melanosomes and the endoplasmic reticulum. The study suggests that Tyrp1tr is a monomeric molecule at ambient temperatures and below (<25 °C). At higher temperatures, >31 °C, higher protein aggregates form with a concurrent decrease of monomers in solution. Also, Tyrp1tr diphenol oxidase activity at pH 5.5 rises as both the pre-incubation temperature and the higher molecular weight protein aggregates formation increases. The enhanced protein activity is consistent with the volume exclusion change caused by protein aggregates.