Melanogenesis is a principal parameter of differentiation in melanocytes and melanoma cells. Our recent study has demonstrated that phospholipase D1 (PLD1) regulates the melanogenic signaling through modulating the expression of tyrosinase, the rate-limiting step enzyme in the melanin biosynthesis. The current study was designed to gain more insight into the involvement of PLD1 in the regulation of melanogenesis. To investigate the role of PLD1, we examined the effect of knockdown of endogenous PLD1 by small interference RNA (siRNA) on melanogenesis in B16 melanoma cells. It was shown that the melanin synthesis was induced in PLD1-knockdowned cells, and also that the level of melanin synthesis was well correlated with increases in expression level of tyrosinase and its related proteins (Tyrp1 and Dct). Furthermore, the reduction of expression levels of PLD1 by siRNA transfection was accompanied by diminution of ribosomal S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) phosphorylation. The activity of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is essential for phosphorylation of S6K1 and the treatment malanoma cells with rapamycin, a potent inhibitor of mTOR effectively induced melanogenesis. The results obtained here provide possible evidence that PLD1 exerts a negative regulatory role in the melanogenic process through mTOR/S6K1 signaling.
(c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.