[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MITF-M and PAX3 are proteins central to the establishment and transformation of the melanocyte lineage. They control various cellular mechanisms, including migration and proliferation. BRN2 is a POU domain transcription factor expressed in melanoma cell lines and is involved in proliferation and invasion, at least in part by regulating the expression of MITF-M and PAX3. The T361 and S362 residues of BRN2, both in the POU domain, are conserved throughout the POU protein family and are targets for phosphorylation, but their roles in vivo remain unknown. To examine the role of this phosphorylation, we generated mutant BRN2 in which these two residues were replaced with alanines (BRN2TS→BRN2AA). When expressed in melanocytes in vitro or in the melanocyte lineage in transgenic mice, BRN2TS induced proliferation and repressed migration, whereas BRN2AA repressed both proliferation and migration. BRN2TS and BRN2AA bound and repressed the MITF-M promoter, whereas PAX3 transcription was induced by BRN2TS but repressed by BRN2AA. Expression of the BRN2AA transgene in a Mitf heterozygous background and in a Pax3 mutant background enhanced the coat color phenotype. Our findings show that melanocyte migration and proliferation are controlled both through the regulation of PAX3 by nonphosphorylated BRN2 and through the regulation of MITF-M by the overall BRN2 level.
Molecular and cellular biology 04/2012; 32(7):1237-47. · 6.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The organ-specific and temporal control of gene activation/inactivation is a key issue in the understanding of protein function during normal and pathological development and during oncogenesis. We generated transgenic mice bearing a tamoxifen-dependent Cre recombinase (Tyr::Cre-ERT2) gene expressed under the control of a 6.1 kb murine tyrosinase promoter in order to facilitate targeted spatiotemporally controlled somatic recombination in melanoblasts/melanocytes. Cre-ERT2 production was detected in tissues containing melanocytes. After tamoxifen induction at various times during embryogenesis and adulthood in a Cre-responsive reporter mouse strain, genetic recombination was detected in the melanoblasts and melanocytes of the skin. Thus, the Tyr::Cre-ERT2 transgenic mice provides a valuable tool for following this cell lineage and for investigating gene function in melanocyte development and transformation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Organ-specific expression of a Cre recombinase allows the analysis of gene function in a particular tissue or cell type. Using a 6.1 kb promoter from the mouse tyrosinase gene, we generated and characterized two lines of transgenic mice that express Cre recombinase in melanoblasts. Utilizing a Cre-responsive reporter mouse strain, genetic recombination was detected in the melanoblasts of the skin from embryonic day 11.5. In addition, Cre-expression was detected in the skin and eyes of mice. Cre transgene activity was occasionally detected in the brain and peripheral nerves but not in other tissues. When Tyr::Cre mice were crossed with mice carrying a homozygous loxP conditional mutation for the insulin-like growth factor receptor gene (Igf1r), Cre-melanoblast-specific recombination pattern was confirmed and no abnormal phenotype was observed. In conclusion, Tyr::Cre transgenic mice provide a valuable tool to follow the cell lineage and to examine gene function in melanocyte development and transformation.