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Melanopsin: comparative physiology of the gene and of the transduction of the luminous signal in pigmentary cells of fish, amphibians and mammals

Grant number: 01/02460-1
Support Opportunities:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: September 01, 2001 - October 31, 2006
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Compared Physiology
Principal Investigator:Ana Maria de Lauro Castrucci
Grantee:Ana Maria de Lauro Castrucci
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Awareness of a new class of opsins, the melanopsins, raised questions relating to their mechanism of the transduction of the luminous signal and the regulation of their gene by visible light and hormones. These questions will be tackled with a comparative focus in teleost fish, amphibians and mammals, in order for the hypotheses below to be tested: 1) the expression of melanopsins in cutaneous pigment cells emerged precociously and as conserved throughout evolution; 2) the response to light in erythrophoroma strains of GEM-81 fish, of melanophores of xenopus and of melanocytes of S91 mice and Melan-A depends on the expression of melanopsin; 3) the expression of melanopsin can be regulated by visible light and hormones. The following experimental strategies will be used: 1) quantification of the expression of melanopsin, the degree of proliferation or of tyrosinasic activity in pigmentary cells in response to visible light ; 2) expression of melanotropic hormones, with the aim of selecting those to be analyzed for their capacity to modulate the expression of melanopsins; 3) quantification of the expression of melanopsin in response to hormones; 4) determination of the signaling paths evoked by melanopsin light interaction; 5) transfection with the melanopsin gene of those cells that do not express melanopsin to free their capacity to respond to light. (AU)

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Scientific publications (4)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
M.S.M.V. SARTI; M.A. VISCONTI; A.M.L. CASTRUCCI. Biological activity and binding of estradiol to SK-Mel 23 human melanoma cells. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, v. 37, n. 6, p. 901-905, . (01/02460-1)
M.C. ISOLDI; E.A. PEREIRA; M.A. VISCONTI; A.M.L. CASTRUCCI. The role of calcium, calcium-activated K+ channels, and tyrosine/kinase in psoralen-evoked responses in human melanoma cells. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, v. 37, n. 4, p. 559-568, . (01/02460-1)
ISOLDI, MAURO CESAR; PROVENCIO, IGNACIO; DE LAURO CASTRUCCI, ANA MARIA. Light modulates the melanophore response to alpha-MSH in Xenopus laevis: An analysis of the signal transduction crosstalk mechanisms involved. General and Comparative Endocrinology, v. 165, n. 1, p. 104-110, . (01/02460-1, 06/03381-1)
CAROLINA R. CAMARGO; ELTON COLARES; ANA MARIA L. CASTRUCCI. Seasonal pelage color change: news based on a South American Rodent. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, v. 78, n. 1, p. 77-86, . (01/02460-1)

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