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

Study of DT-diaphorase in pigment-producing cells.

DT-diaphorase is an FAD-containing enzyme capable of a two-electron reduction of ortho- and paraquinones. Nicotinamide coenzymes (NADH + H+ and NADPH + H+) serve as hydrogen sources in these reactions. The role of DT-diaphorase has been thoroughly investigated in situations when the enzyme is able to reduce exogenous and endogenous quinones, hence protecting the cells against these reactive intermediates. The enzyme has also been studied in connection with its ability to activate some quinoid cytostatics. It is surprising that DT-diaphorase has never been investigated in pigment-producing cells that are known to generate considerable amounts of ortho-quinones. Using a spectrophotometric method we could readily measure the activity of DT-diaphorase in epidermis and various cultured pigment cells. The melanocytes isolated from dark skin showed generally higher DT-diaphorase activity than those from fair skin samples. Also, darkly pigmented congenital naevus cells exhibited higher activity of this enzyme. The most striking was the high DT-diaphorase activity in melanoma cell cultures. In these cells DT-diaphorase activity could be induced by incubation of the cells with 4-hydroxyanisole. A similar effect was seen when a catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor (3-(3,4-dihydroxy-5-nitrobenzylidene)-2,4-pentanedione (OR-462) was utilised. The induction was inhibited by cyclohexidine.[1]


  1. Study of DT-diaphorase in pigment-producing cells. Smit, N.P., Hoogduijn, M.J., Riley, P.A., Pavel, S. Cell. Mol. Biol. (Noisy-le-grand) (1999) [Pubmed]
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