FK506 positively regulates the migratory potential of melanocyte-derived cells by enhancing syndecan-2 expression

Hyejung Jung, Eok Soo Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Although topical tacrolimus (FK506) is known to promote repigmentation by increasing the pigmentation and migration of melanocytes, the mechanism through which FK506 regulates cell migration remains unclear. Here, we report that FK506 treatment enhanced cell spreading on laminin-332 and increased migration in both melanocytes and melanoma cells. Interestingly, FK506 also increased the expression of syndecan-2, a transmembrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan through c-jun terminal kinase activation. Moreover, siRNA-mediated reduction of syndecan-2 expression decreased FK506-mediated cell spreading and migration in melanoma cells and decreased focal adhesion kinase phosphorylation in both melanocytes and melanoma cells. Consistent with these effects on syndecan-2 expression, FK506 enhanced the membrane and melanosome localizations of PKCβII, a regulator of tyrosinase activity. This suggests that FK506 may play a dual regulatory role by affecting both melanogenesis and migration in melanocyte-derived cells. Interestingly, however, FK506 failed to show any synergistic effect on the migration of UVB-treated melanocyte-derived cells. Taken together, these data indicate that FK506 regulates cell migration by enhancing syndecan-2 expression, further suggesting that syndecan-2 could be a potential target for the treatment of patients with vitiligo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-443
Number of pages10
JournalPigment Cell and Melanoma Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. 2013R1A2A2A01013565, 2014K1A3A7A03075056).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • FK506
  • melanogenesis
  • migration
  • syndecan-2
  • vitiligo


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