The combined action of cholera toxin (CT)-dependent activation of the adenylate cyclase signaling pathway, stimulation of protein kinase C, and activation of the tyrosine kinase activity of cell surface receptors and proto-oncogene products, have been shown to stimulate melanocyte proliferation. However, natural factors responsible for the optimal stimulation of normal human melanocyte growth, either isolated or co-cultured with keratinocytes, remain largely unknown. alpha MSH (alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone) has previously been shown to bind to murine and human melanoma cells and to stimulate their adenylate cyclase and tyrosinase activity. In contrast, very little is known about the presence and function of alpha MSH receptors in normal human melanocytes. We now report that alpha MSH: (i) binds to normal human melanocytes through a single class of high-affinity receptors; (ii) does not induce per se melanocytes to enter the S-phase of the cell cycle; (iii) does indeed stimulate melanocyte proliferation in a dose-dependent fashion; but its stimulatory effect requires bFGF and/or the activation of protein kinase C.
Alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha MSH) stimulates normal human melanocyte growth by binding to high-affinity receptors / DE LUCA, Michele; Siegrist, W; Bondanza, S; Mathor, M; Cancedda, R; Eberle, A. N.. - In: JOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE. - ISSN 0021-9533. - 105 ( Pt 4):(1993), pp. 1079-1084.