We previously reported that the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), a key regulator of melanogenesis, regulates cell migration; however, the detailed mechanism remained unknown. Since the homo-dimerization of MC1R by four inter-subunit disulfide bonds is known to be functionally important for melanogenesis, we investigated the importance of MC1R dimerization for cell migration. Unlike the wild-type MC1R, the dimerization-defective mutant MC1R in which four critical Cys residues were replaced with Ala residues (Cys35-267-273-275Ala) significantly inhibited melanin synthesis but enhanced cell migration in human MNT-1 and A375 melanoma cells. This suggests that there may be a reverse correlation between melanin synthesis and cell migration. Interestingly, melanoma cells expressing the dimerization-defective mutant exhibited enhanced expression of the cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan, syndecan-2, and knockdown of syndecan-2 expression decreased the mutant-mediated cell migration. Consistently, ASIP, an antagonist of MC1R, enhanced syndecan-2 expression and cell migration and reversed the α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-mediated inhibition of syndecan-2 expression. Furthermore, α-MSH reduced the cell migration of MNT1 cells expressing wild-type MC1R but not its dimerization-defective mutant. Together, these data strongly suggest that MC1R reversely regulates melanin synthesis and migration via the conformational changes induced by dimerization.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|State||Published - 22 Oct 2019|
- Melanin synthesis
- Melanocortin-1 receptor