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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X

Abstract

LOPES, G.J.D.; GOIS, C.C.; LIMA, L.H.R.G.  and  CASTRUCCI, A.M.L.. Modulation of rhodopsin gene expression and signaling mechanisms evoked by endothelins in goldfish and murine pigment cell lines. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2010, vol.43, n.9, pp.828-836.  Epub Aug 27, 2010 ISSN 1414-431X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2010007500087.

Endothelins (ETs) and sarafotoxins (SRTXs) belong to a family of vasoconstrictor peptides, which regulate pigment migration and/or production in vertebrate pigment cells. The teleost Carassius auratus erythrophoroma cell line, GEM-81, and Mus musculus B16 melanocytes express rhodopsin, as well as the ET receptors, ETB and ETA, respectively. Both cell lines are photoresponsive, and respond to light with a decreased proliferation rate. For B16, the doubling time of cells kept in 14-h light (14L):10-h darkness (10D) was higher compared to 10L:14D, or to DD. The doubling time of cells kept in 10L:14D was also higher compared to DD. Using real-time PCR, we demonstrated that SRTX S6c (12-h treatment, 100 pM and 1 nM; 24-h treatment, 1 nM) and ET-1 (12-h treatment, 10 and 100 pM; 24- and 48-h treatments, 100 pM) increased rhodopsin mRNA levels in GEM-81 and B16 cells, respectively. This modulation involves protein kinase C (PKC) and the mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade in GEM-81 cells, and phospholipase C, Ca2+, calmodulin, a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase, and PKC in B16 cells. Cells were kept under constant darkness throughout the gene expression experiments. These results show that rhodopsin mRNA levels can be modulated by SRTXs/ETs in vertebrate pigment cells. It is possible that SRTX S6c binding to the ETB receptors in GEM-81 cells, and ET-1 binding to ETA receptors in B16 melanocytes, although activating diverse intracellular signaling mechanisms, mobilize transcription factors such as c-Fos, c-Jun, c-Myc, and neural retina leucine zipper protein. These activated transcription factors may be involved in the positive regulation of rhodopsin mRNA levels in these cell lines.

Keywords : Rhodopsin; Sarafotoxin; Endothelin; Pigment cells; Gene expression; Signaling pathway.

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