NMS Researchers Lead Knowledge Regarding Melanin Transfer in Cells

The research, carried out by Membrane Traffic in Disease laboratory, led by Duarte Barral, is on the cover of the latest issue of Traffic magazine, a scientific journal dedicated to intracellular transport in disease.

Michael Hall, Cristina Escrevente, Matilde Neto, Duarte Barral, Liliana Lopes and Luís Cabaço


“Despite the importance of skin pigmentation for the protection from UV radiation, there is still a debate in the field on how the pigment melanin is transferred from the cell that produces it – the melanocyte – to adjacent cells called keratinocytes", says Duarte Barral. The researcher confirms this is an essential step for the melanin protection of the nuclear DNA of keratinocytes.

Related to the study, Duarte Barral says: "in this article, we characterize how melanin enters keratinocytes. We think that the transfer mechanism could be altered when the skin is exposed to UV and needs to rapidly protect the keratinocytes, as well as in rare pigmentary disorders".

The researchers also report that this work could also have cosmetic applications, as they were able to define several regulators of melanin entry into keratinocytes that could be harnessed to modulate skin pigmentation.

You can read the complete article at Traffic journal and check the cover feature below.