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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Upregulation of mRNA for the melanocortin-1 receptor but not for melanogenic proteins in macrophage x melanoma fusion hybrids exhibiting increased melanogenic and metastatic potential.

Fusion of mouse peritoneal macrophages or human blood monocytes with weakly metastatic mouse Cloudman S91 melanoma cells resulted in hybrids with enhanced metastatic potential (Rachkovsky et al., 1998. Clin. Exp. Metastasis, 16: 299-312). With few exceptions, such hybrids also showed increased basal- and MSH-induced pigmentation, at least in part through increased N-glycosylation of melanogenic proteins (Sodi et al., 1998. Pigment Cell Res., 11: 299-309). Here we report analyses regarding expression of the melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) receptor (melanocortin-1 receptor, MC1-R) and the melanogenic proteins, tyrosinase (E.C., tyrosinase-related protein 1 ( TRP-1), and the tyrosinase-related protein 2 ( TRP-2, E.C., by a panel of cell lines consisting of parental Cloudman S91 melanoma cells, macrophages from DBA/2J mice, artificially derived macrophage x melanoma hybrids of high and low metastatic potential, and a naturally occurring highly metastatic hybrid between a Cloudman S91 tumor cell and a DBA/2J tumor-infiltrating cell. We show that incubation of cells with MSH/isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX) resulted in strong melanogenic and morphologic responses in high metastatic hybrids compared to parental cells and the low metastatic hybrid, and that high metastatic hybrids exhibit increased mRNA expression for MC1-R accompanied by increased 125I-alphaMSH binding. Although tyrosinase activity and the protein level for tyrosinase and TRP-2, but not for TRP-1, were increased in the high metastatic hybrids versus the other cells, no significant changes in mRNA either for tyrosinase or for TRPs were observed in them. Furthermore, unlike tyrosinase, the abundance and gel mobility pattern of TRP-2 did not correlate with changes in activity in all hybrids and parental melanoma cells. The results suggest that although the activity MC1-R and tyrosinase correlate with enhanced basal as well as MSH-induced melanogenesis in metastatic/melanotic hybrids, their expression is differentially regulated, i.e., regulation of MC1-R while at transcriptional level, the TRPs are primarily regulated via post-transcriptional mechanisms in high metastatic hybrids.[1]


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