W Dixon

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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Publications (7)28.05 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Integrins are a class of adhesion molecules that depends on divalent cations for proper function. This study examined whether human normal melanocytes and malignant (metastatic) melanocytes with early and late stages of cellular differentiation (G361 and SK-MEL-23, respectively) would differ in integrin-mediated adhesion to fibronectin, laminin, as well as collagens type I and type IV, and whether divalent cations could influence the strength of adhesion ability. Integrin subunit expression was determined by flow cytometry using integrin subunit-specific antibodies as probes. Integrin-specific adhesion was determined using soluble glycine-arginine-glycine-asparagine-serine peptide and integrin subunit-specific antibodies as functional blocking agents. This study shows that both normal and malignant melanocytes adhere to extracellular matrices in a divalent cation-dependent manner, and adhesion strength varies with the cation species. Integrins can be rapidly activated by small alterations in cation concentration, manganese being the most potent. There were marked differences in substrate adhesion between normal melanocytes and metastatic malignant melanoma cells, but these differences were not related to the stage of cellular differentiation. All the three cell types, however, expressed the same integrin subunits at approximately the same levels. This suggests that substrate adhesion of melanocytes and melanoma cells might involve some integrin-independent mechanisms as well. Manganese, in particular, appears to cause adhesion by activating both integrin-dependent and -independent mechanisms.
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 09/1995; 105(2):301-8. · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the effect of glutathione on the in vivo depigmenting potency of N-acetyl-4-S-cysteaminylphenol (N-acetyl-4-S-CAP) in black and yellow mice after multiple intraperitoneal injections on 10 consecutive days. In black mice (C57BL/6J, a/a), N-acetyl-4-S-CAP showed dose-dependent depigmenting potency (0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mmol/kg), which was in parallel to the tissue eumelanin content (98%, 28%, and 3% of controls, respectively) and to the tissue glutathione content (94%, 85%, and 76%, respectively). In lethal yellow mice (C57BL/6J, Ay/a), only a dose of 2.0 mmol/kg showed the color change of hair to dark, not to white as seen in black mice. This was reflected by the decrease of pheomelanin content (56%) and the increase of eumelanin content (28% of black mice). The simultaneous administration of N-acetyl-cysteine, which up-regulated glutathione content, completely abolished the depigmenting potency of N-acetyl-4-S-CAP, whereas administration of buthionine sulfoximine, which depleted the tissue glutathione content, enhanced the depigmenting potency of N-acetyl-4-S-CAP in black hair. In yellow mice, the darkening of hair follicles by 2.0 mmol/kg of N-acetyl-4-S-CAP was completely abolished by the combined administration of N-acetyl-cysteine, with the resulting hair color the same as in controls, whereas combined administration with buthionine sulfoximine caused some whitening of yellow hair follicles. Our data indicate that the tissue content of glutathione regulates melanocytotoxicity and depigmenting potency of N-acetyl-4-S-CAP and that this alteration of glutathione content may switch the melanogenesis type from pheomelanin to eumelanin.
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 06/1995; 104(5):792-7. · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melanogenesis is a cascade of events significantly controlled by regulatory genes which are associated with the melanosomal membrane. This report introduces our current research efforts dealing with (a) the gene and protein expressions of tyrosinase and Lamp (lysosome-associated membrane protein) families by human melanoma cells after repeated exposures to UV light, (b) the coordinated alterations in the expression of the Lamp family gene and its encoding product after transfection of two genes of the tyrosinase family in human melanoma cells and (c) cloning and sequencing of a Ca(2+)-binding phosphoprotein, calnexin, which could be a candidate as a chaperone for sorting and maturation of tyrosinase and Lamp family glycoproteins in melanogenesis cascade. Our UV exposure study, as well as gene transfection and antisense hybridization experiments, has clearly indicated a marked and coordinated interaction of the Lamp-1 gene with the tyrosinase and TRP-1 genes in this process. We propose that melanogenesis is controlled at least by two major gene family products, i.e., (a) the tyrosinase family of tyrosinase, TRP-1 and TRP-2, and the Lamp family of Lamp-1, Lamp-2 and Lamp-3. These two gene families probably derived from primordial melanogenesis-associated genes which are common or closely related to each other.
    The Journal of Dermatology 12/1994; 21(11):894-906. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have recently identified a gene encoding a calnexin-like protein (p90) by the immunoscreening of a human melanoma cDNA library, using a rabbit anti-human melanosomal antibody. This p90 protein was highly expressed by human melanocytes and associated with melanosomal membrane and endoplasmic reticulum. In this study we report the computer analysis of the predicted amino acid sequence of this calnexin-like melanosomal protein. We found that p90 is a membrane-bound protein whose large N-terminal domain is located within the melanosomal compartment; its shorter C-terminal is exposed to the cytosol and separated by a short transmembrane region. This p90 protein was found to have consensus sequences of a Ca(2+)-binding loop and a protein kinase C phosphorylation site at the N-terminal domain. The C-terminal domain, on the other hand, contained sequences of a casein kinase II phosphorylation site and two protein kinase A phosphorylation sites. Such functional motifs could provide signal transduction across the melanosomal membrane, the reception of melanogenic protein via carriers at the melanosomal membrane and the translocation of melanosomes in the melanocyte.
    Melanoma Research 09/1993; 3(4):263-9. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The melanosome is a secretory organelle unique to the melanocyte and its neoplastic counterpart, malignant melanoma. The synthesis and assembly of these intracytoplasmic organelles is not yet fully understood. We have developed a murine monoclonal antibody (MoAb) against melanosomes isolated from human melanocytes (newborn foreskin) cultured in the presence of 12-O tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA). This MoAb, designated HMSA-5 (Human Melanosome-Specific Antigen-5) (IgG1), recognised a cytoplasmic antigen in both normal human melanocytes and neoplastic cells, such as common and dysplastic melanocytic nevi, and malignant melanoma. None of the carcinoma or sarcoma specimens tested showed positive reactivity with MoAb HMSA-5. Under immunoelectron microscopy, immuno-gold deposition was seen on microvesicles associated with melanosomes, and a portion of the ER-Golgi complexes. Radioimmunoprecipitation analysis showed that the HMSA-5 reactive antigen was a glycoprotein of M(r) 69 to 73 kDa. A pulse-chase time course study showed that the amount of antigen detected by MoAb HMSA-5 decreased over a 24 h period without significant expression on the cell surface, or corresponding appearance of the antigen in the culture supernatant. This glycoprotein appears to play a role in the early stages of melanosomal development, and the HMSA-5 reactive epitope may be lost during subsequent maturation processes. Importantly, HMSA-5 can be identified in all forms of human melanocytes, hence it can be considered a new common melanocytic marker even on routine paraffin sections.
    British Journal of Cancer 02/1993; 67(1):47-57. · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • K Jimbow, F Alena, W Dixon, H Hara
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    ABSTRACT: Melanogenesis, i.e., synthesis of melanin and melanosomes, is a "cascade" of event which is channelled by internal and external regulatory factors. The recognition and selection of this information and subsequent differentiation of melanogenesis (melanin type and melanosomal development) would be regulated significantly by melanosomal membrane. The melanogenesis type could be switched relatively easily by UV light, hormone, and availability of tyrosinase substrate. The role of sulphydryl compounds as a regulatory factor in melanogenesis type (in particular for pheomelanogenesis) may not be tied to its absolute presence or absence, but rather, to the effective concentration within the melanocyte at a given time. It is, therefore, probable that the morphogenesis of melanosomes may not follow immediately in response to melanogenesis-type changes, hence the melanocyte revealing more often mosaic forms of melanosomes in nature after exposure to non-genetic factors. The switch of melanogenesis would be significantly controlled by structural and functional availability of vesiculoglobular bodies which are encoded or associated with HMSA-5 (69 kDa) glycoprotein. This HMSA-5 protein shares a significant homology with gp75 "b-locus" protein. However, because of our hypothesis that vesiculoglobular bodies carry post- (and pre-) tyrosinase regulatory factors involving in both pheo- and eumelanogenesis, the term "b-protein" which focuses only on eumelanogenesis may not be applied to HMSA-5.
    Pigment Cell Research 02/1992; Suppl 2:36-42. · 4.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The epidermal melanin unit (EMU) denotes the symbiotic relationship between a melanocyte and a pool of associated keratinocytes. We propose to show that alterations in the biology of the EMU are the main determinant of the different patterns of intraepidermal growth of melanocytes in lentigo maligna melanoma (LMM) and superficial spreading melanoma (SSM). They also appear to affect the biosynthesis of melanin and melanosomes during malignant transformation. Findings in histochemical studies with monoclonal antibodies generated against melanosomal proteins to produce different stains of melanocytes of normal skin, dysplastic melanocytic nevi (DMN), common melanocytic nevi (CMN), LMM, and SSM have led to the suggestion that the altered melanosome synthesis is a main phenotype in the pathophysiology in neoplastic transformation of melanocytes. Altered melanin synthesis may also affect the carcinogenesis in malignant melanoma: pheomelanin is increased in malignant melanoma and DMN, but not in normal skin and CMN. Pheomelanin and its precursors could aid the malignant transformation of melanocytes through the generation of mutagenic ultraviolet photoproducts in familial DMN syndrome.
    American Journal of Dermatopathology 05/1991; 13(2):179-88. · 1.42 Impact Factor