The human epidermal melanocyte is a highly specialized pigmented cell that serves to protect the epidermis from ultraviolet (UV) damage through the production of melanin, or melanogenesis. Misregulation in melanogenesis leading to either hyper- or hypo-pigmentation is found in human diseases such as malasma and vitiligo. Current therapies for these diseases are largely unsuccessful and the need for new therapies is necessary. In order to identify genes and or compounds that can alter melanogenesis, methods are required that can detect changes in pigment production as well as expression of key melanogenesis transcription factors and enzymes. Here we describe methods to detect changes in melanogenesis in a human melanoma cell line, MNT-1, by (1) analyzing pigment production by measuring the absorbance of melanin present by spectrophotometry, (2) analyzing transcript expression of potent regulators of melanogenesis by qunatitative reverse-transcription (RT)PCR and (3) analyzing protein expression of potent regulators of melanogenesis by Western blot (WB).
Melanocyte Melanin Melanogenesis Ultraviolet radiation Tyrosinase MITF Pigment production assay Western blot RT-qPCR
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