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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biochemistry - Biotechnology - Chemistry - Dermatology - Molecular Biology - Science Policy

A Potent Inhibitor of SIK2, 3, 3', 7-Trihydroxy-4'-Methoxyflavon (4'-O-Methylfisetin), Promotes Melanogenesis in B16F10 Melanoma Cells
Published: Thursday, October 13, 2011
Author: Ayako Kumagai et al.

by Ayako Kumagai, Nanao Horike, Yudai Satoh, Tatsuya Uebi, Tsutomu Sasaki, Yumi Itoh, Yoshiyuki Hirata, Kozue Uchio-Yamada, Kazuo Kitagawa, Shinichi Uesato, Hidehisa Kawahara, Hiroshi Takemori, Yasuo Nagaoka

Flavonoids, which are plant polyphenols, are now widely used in supplements and cosmetics. Here, we report that 4'-methylflavonoids are potent inducers of melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells and in mice. We recently identified salt inducible kinase 2 (SIK2) as an inhibitor of melanogenesis via the suppression of the cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB)-specific coactivator 1 (TORC1). Using an in vitro kinase assay targeting SIK2, we identified fisetin as a candidate inhibitor, possibly being capable of promoting melanogenesis. However, fisetin neither inhibited the CREB-inhibitory activity of SIK2 nor promoted melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells. Conversely, mono-methyl-flavonoids, such as diosmetin (4'-O-metlylluteolin), efficiently inhibited SIK2 and promoted melanogenesis in this cell line. The cAMP-CREB system is impaired in Ay/a mice and these mice have yellow hair as a result of pheomelanogenesis, while Sik2+/-; Ay/a mice also have yellow hair, but activate eumelanogenesis when they are exposed to CREB stimulators. Feeding Sik2+/-; Ay/a mice with diets supplemented with fisetin resulted in their hair color changing to brown, and metabolite analysis suggested the presence of mono-methylfisetin in their feces. Thus, we decided to synthesize 4'-O-methylfisetin (4'MF) and found that 4'MF strongly induced melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells, which was accompanied by the nuclear translocation of TORC1, and the 4'-O-methylfisetin-induced melanogenic programs were inhibited by the overexpression of dominant negative TORC1. In conclusion, compounds that modulate SIK2 cascades are helpful to regulate melanogenesis via TORC1 without affecting cAMP levels, and the combined analysis of Sik2+/- mice and metabolites from these mice is an effective strategy to identify beneficial compounds to regulate CREB activity in vivo.