MITF Is Regulated by Redox Signals Controlled by the Selenoprotein Thioredoxin Reductase 1

Chelsey D. Kline, Madeleine Anderson, John W. Bassett, Gail Kent, Rachel Berryman, Matthew Honeggar, Shosuke Ito, Kazumasa Wakamatsu, Arup K. Indra, Philip J. Moos, Sancy A. Leachman, Pamela B. Cassidy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


TR1 and other selenoproteins have paradoxical effects in melanocytes and melanomas. Increasing selenoprotein activity with supplemental selenium in a mouse model of UV-induced melanoma prevents oxidative damage to melanocytes and delays melanoma tumor formation. However, TR1 itself is positively associated with progression in human melanomas and facilitates metastasis in melanoma xenografts. Here, we report that melanocytes expressing a microRNA directed against TR1 (TR1low) grow more slowly than control cell lines and contain significantly less melanin. This phenotype is associated with lower tyrosinase (TYR) activity and reduced transcription of tyrosinase-like protein-1 (TYRP1). Melanoma cells in which the TR1 gene (TXNRD1) was disrupted using Crispr/Cas9 showed more dramatic effects including the complete loss of the melanocyte-specific isoform of MITF; other MITF isoforms were unaffected. We provide evidence that TR1 depletion results in oxidation of MITF itself. This newly discovered mechanism for redox modification of MITF has profound implications for controlling both pigmentation and tumorigenesis in cells of the melanocyte lineage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5011
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • MITF
  • glutathione
  • peroxiredoxin
  • redox signaling
  • thioredoxin reductase 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'MITF Is Regulated by Redox Signals Controlled by the Selenoprotein Thioredoxin Reductase 1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this