The skin possesses a photosensitive system comprised of opsins whose function is not fully understood, and clock genes which exert an important regulatory role in skin biology. Here, we evaluated the presence of opsins in normal (Melan-a cells) and malignant (B16-F10 cells) murine melanocytes. Both cell lines express Opn2, Opn4--for the first time reported in these cell types--as well as S-opsin. OPN4 protein was found in a small area capping the cell nuclei of B16-F10 cells kept in constant dark (DD); twenty-four hours after the white light pulse (WLP), OPN4 was found in the cell membrane. Despite the fact that B16-F10 cells expressed less Opn2 and Opn4 than Melan-a cells, our data indicate that the malignant melanocytes exhibited increased photoresponsiveness. The clock gene machinery is also severely downregulated in B16-F10 cells as compared to Melan-a cells. Per1, Per2, and Bmal1 expression increased in B16-F10 cells in response to WLP. Although no response in clock gene expression to WLP was observed in Melan-a cells, gene correlational data suggest a minor effect of WLP. In contrast to opsins and clock genes, melanogenesis is significantly upregulated in malignant melanocytes in comparison to Melan-a cells. Tyrosinase expression increased after WLP only in B16-F10 cells; however no increase in melanin content after WLP was seen in either cell line. Our findings may prove useful in the treatment and the development of new pharmacological approaches of depigmentation diseases and skin cancer.
The circadian clock exerts an important role in systemic homeostasis as it acts a keeper of time for the organism. The synchrony between the daily challenges imposed by the environment needs to be aligned with biological processes and with the internal circadian clock. In this review, it is provided an in-depth view of the molecular functioning of the circadian molecular clock, how this system is organized, and how central and peripheral clocks communicate with each other. In this sense, we provide an overview of the neuro-hormonal factors controlled by the central clock and how they affect peripheral tissues. We also evaluate signals released by peripheral organs and their effects in the central clock and other brain areas. Additionally, we evaluate a possible communication between peripheral tissues as a novel layer of circadian organization by reviewing recent studies in the literature. In the last section, we analyze how the circadian clock can modulate intracellular and tissue-dependent processes of metabolic organs. Taken altogether, the goal of this review is to provide a systemic and integrative view of the molecular clock function and organization with an emphasis in metabolic tissues.
Malignant Mesothelioma (MM) is a very aggressive cancer with low survival rates and often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Several players have been implicated in the development of this cancer, such as asbestos, erionite and the simian virus 40 (SV40). Here, we have reviewed the involvement of erionite, SV40, as well as, the role of several genes (p16(INK4a), p14(ARF), NF2, LATS2, SAV, CTNNB1 and among others), the pathways (RAS, PI3K, Wnt, BCL and Hippo), and their respective roles in the development of MM.
IntroductionMelanoma is the most lethal type of skin cancer, with increasing incidence and mortality rates worldwide. Multiple studies have demonstrated a link between cancer development/progression and circadian disruption; however, the complex role of tumor-autonomous molecular clocks remains poorly understood. With that in mind, we investigated the pathophysiological relevance of clock genes expression in metastatic melanoma.MethodsWe analyzed gene expression, somatic mutation, and clinical data from 340 metastatic melanomas from The Cancer Genome Atlas, as well as gene expression data from 234 normal skin samples from genotype-tissue expression. Findings were confirmed in independent datasets.ResultsIn melanomas, the expression of most clock genes was remarkably reduced and displayed a disrupted pattern of co-expression compared to the normal skins, indicating a dysfunctional circadian clock. Importantly, we demonstrate that the expression of the clock gene aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator-like protein 1 (BMAL1) positively correlates with patient overall survival and with the expression of T-cell activity and exhaustion markers in the tumor bulk. Accordingly, high BMAL1 expression in pretreatment samples was significantly associated with clinical benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors. The robust intratumoral T-cell infiltration/activation observed in patients with high BMAL1 expression was associated with a decreased expression of key DNA-repair enzymes, and with an increased mutational/neoantigen load.ConclusionOverall, our data corroborate previous reports regarding the impact of BMAL1 expression on the cellular DNA-repair capacity and indicate that alterations in the tumor-autonomous molecular clock could influence the cellular composition of the surrounding microenvironment. Moreover, we revealed the potential of BMAL1 as a clinically relevant prognostic factor and biomarker for T-cell-based immunotherapies.
Aldosterone is the most known mineralocorticoid hormone synthesized by the adrenal cortex. The genomic pathway displayed by aldosterone is attributed to the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) signaling. Even though the rapid effects displayed by aldosterone are long known, our knowledge regarding the receptor responsible for such event is still poor. It is intense that the debate whether the MR or another receptor-the "unknown receptor"-is the receptor responsible for the rapid effects of aldosterone. Recently, G protein-coupled estrogen receptor-1 (GPER-1) was elegantly shown to mediate some aldosterone-induced rapid effects in several tissues, a fact that strongly places GPER-1 as the unknown receptor. It has also been suggested that angiotensin receptor type 1 (AT1) also participates in the aldosterone-induced rapid effects. Despite this open question, the relevance of the beneficial effects of aldosterone is clear in the kidneys, colon, and CNS as aldosterone controls the important water reabsorption process; on the other hand, detrimental effects displayed by aldosterone have been reported in the cardiovascular system and in the kidneys. In this line, the MR antagonists are well-known drugs that display beneficial effects in patients with heart failure and hypertension; it has been proposed that MR antagonists could also play an important role in vascular disease, obesity, obesity-related hypertension, and metabolic syndrome. Taken altogether, our goal here was to (1) bring a historical perspective of both genomic and rapid effects of aldosterone in several tissues, and the receptors and signaling pathways involved in such processes; and (2) critically address the controversial points within the literature as regarding which receptor participates in the rapid pathway display by aldosterone.
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