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

Regulation of melanosome movement by MAP kinase.

Our objectives were to further characterize the signaling pathways in melatonin-induced aggregation in Xenopus melanophores, specifically to investigate a possible role of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). By Western blotting we found that melatonin activates MAPK, which precedes melanosome aggregation measured in a microplate reader. Activation of MAPK, tyrosine phosphorylation of a previously described 280-kDa protein, and melanosome aggregation are sensitive to PD98059, a selective inhibitor of MAPK kinase. The MAPK activation is also decreased by the adenylate cyclase stimulant forskolin. In summary, we found that MAPK is activated during melatonin-induced melanosome aggregation. Activation was decreased by an inhibitor of MAPK kinase, and by forskolin. In addition to inhibition of cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP), reduction in protein kinase A activity (PKA), and activation of protein phosphatase 2A, we suggest that melatonin receptors activate the MAPK cascade and tyrosine phosphorylation of the 280-kDa protein. Although the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway is the most prominent, our data suggest that simultaneous activation of the MAPK cascade is of importance to obtain a completely aggregated state. This new regulatory mechanism of organelle transport by the MAPK cascade might be important in other eukaryotic cells.[1]


  1. Regulation of melanosome movement by MAP kinase. Andersson, T.P., Svensson, S.P., Karlsson, A.M. Pigment Cell Res. (2003) [Pubmed]
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