RET tyrosine kinase enhances hair growth in association with promotion of melanogenesis

Oncogene. 2001 Nov 8;20(51):7536-41. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1204918.


We first demonstrated that c-Ret protein is transiently expressed mainly in the inner and outer root sheaths of hair follicles soon after birth in the skin of normal C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice. A longer-lasting expression of activated RET protein overlapped the c-Ret expression with some preferential expression in the outer root sheath in close association with increase in the number of S-100 protein-containing cells in the area and excess melanogenesis in and around hair bulbs in the skin of RFP-RET-transgenic mice on a C57BL/6 background (RFP-RET/B6). Hair follicles in the skin of the transgenic mice continuously showed histology of the anagen phase, and the recovery period for the hair of the transgenic mice after shaving was shortened. Such growth promotion was not observed in the case of white hairs of RFP-RET-transgenic mice on a BALB/c background. These results suggest that RET works to extend the anagen phase in association with upregulation of melanin production.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Female
  • Hair / embryology
  • Hair / growth & development*
  • Hair / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Melanins / biosynthesis*
  • Melanocytes / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / biosynthesis
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics*
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Up-Regulation


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Melanins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Ret protein, Drosophila
  • Ret protein, mouse