Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor: A basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factor that regulates the CELL DIFFERENTIATION and development of a variety of cell types including MELANOCYTES; OSTEOCLASTS; and RETINAL PIGMENT EPITHELIUM. Mutations in MITF protein have been associated with OSTEOPETROSIS and WAARDENBURG SYNDROME.Melanocytes: Mammalian pigment cells that produce MELANINS, pigments found mainly in the EPIDERMIS, but also in the eyes and the hair, by a process called melanogenesis. Coloration can be altered by the number of melanocytes or the amount of pigment produced and stored in the organelles called MELANOSOMES. The large non-mammalian melanin-containing cells are called MELANOPHORES.Monophenol Monooxygenase: An enzyme of the oxidoreductase class that catalyzes the reaction between L-tyrosine, L-dopa, and oxygen to yield L-dopa, dopaquinone, and water. It is a copper protein that acts also on catechols, catalyzing some of the same reactions as CATECHOL OXIDASE. EC 126.96.36.199.Melanins: Insoluble polymers of TYROSINE derivatives found in and causing darkness in skin (SKIN PIGMENTATION), hair, and feathers providing protection against SUNBURN induced by SUNLIGHT. CAROTENES contribute yellow and red coloration.Skin Pigmentation: Coloration of the skin.Waardenburg Syndrome: Rare, autosomal dominant disease with variable penetrance and several known clinical types. Characteristics may include depigmentation of the hair and skin, congenital deafness, heterochromia iridis, medial eyebrow hyperplasia, hypertrophy of the nasal root, and especially dystopia canthorum. The underlying cause may be defective development of the neural crest (neurocristopathy). Waardenburg's syndrome may be closely related to piebaldism. Klein-Waardenburg Syndrome refers to a disorder that also includes upper limb abnormalities.Transcription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.alpha-MSH: A 13-amino acid peptide derived from proteolytic cleavage of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE, the N-terminal segment of ACTH. ACTH (1-13) is amidated at the C-terminal to form ACTH (1-13)NH2 which in turn is acetylated to form alpha-MSH in the secretory granules. Alpha-MSH stimulates the synthesis and distribution of MELANIN in MELANOCYTES in mammals and MELANOPHORES in lower vertebrates.Melanoma: A malignant neoplasm derived from cells that are capable of forming melanin, which may occur in the skin of any part of the body, in the eye, or, rarely, in the mucous membranes of the genitalia, anus, oral cavity, or other sites. It occurs mostly in adults and may originate de novo or from a pigmented nevus or malignant lentigo. Melanomas frequently metastasize widely, and the regional lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and brain are likely to be involved. The incidence of malignant skin melanomas is rising rapidly in all parts of the world. (Stedman, 25th ed; from Rook et al., Textbook of Dermatology, 4th ed, p2445)Hyperpigmentation: Excessive pigmentation of the skin, usually as a result of increased epidermal or dermal melanin pigmentation, hypermelanosis. Hyperpigmentation can be localized or generalized. The condition may arise from exposure to light, chemicals or other substances, or from a primary metabolic imbalance.Microphthalmos: Congenital or developmental anomaly in which the eyeballs are abnormally small.Tietze's Syndrome: Idiopathic painful nonsuppurative swellings of one or more costal cartilages, especially of the second rib. The anterior chest pain may mimic that of coronary artery disease. (Dorland, 27th ed.)Melanosomes: Melanin-containing organelles found in melanocytes and melanophores.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.Promoter Regions, Genetic: DNA sequences which are recognized (directly or indirectly) and bound by a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase during the initiation of transcription. Highly conserved sequences within the promoter include the Pribnow box in bacteria and the TATA BOX in eukaryotes.DNA-Binding Proteins: Proteins which bind to DNA. The family includes proteins which bind to both double- and single-stranded DNA and also includes specific DNA binding proteins in serum which can be used as markers for malignant diseases.SOXE Transcription Factors: A subclass of closely-related SOX transcription factors. Members of this subfamily have been implicated in regulating the differentiation of OLIGODENDROCYTES during neural crest formation and in CHONDROGENESIS.Intramolecular Oxidoreductases: Enzymes of the isomerase class that catalyze the oxidation of one part of a molecule with a corresponding reduction of another part of the same molecule. They include enzymes converting aldoses to ketoses (ALDOSE-KETOSE ISOMERASES), enzymes shifting a carbon-carbon double bond (CARBON-CARBON DOUBLE BOND ISOMERASES), and enzymes transposing S-S bonds (SULFUR-SULFUR BOND ISOMERASES). (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 5.3.Melanoma, Experimental: Experimentally induced tumor that produces MELANIN in animals to provide a model for studying human MELANOMA.Transcriptional Activation: Processes that stimulate the GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION of a gene or set of genes.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Luciferases: Enzymes that oxidize certain LUMINESCENT AGENTS to emit light (PHYSICAL LUMINESCENCE). The luciferases from different organisms have evolved differently so have different structures and substrates.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Thioctic Acid: An octanoic acid bridged with two sulfurs so that it is sometimes also called a pentanoic acid in some naming schemes. It is biosynthesized by cleavage of LINOLEIC ACID and is a coenzyme of oxoglutarate dehydrogenase (KETOGLUTARATE DEHYDROGENASE COMPLEX). It is used in DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS.Cell Line, Tumor: A cell line derived from cultured tumor cells.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.8,11,14-Eicosatrienoic Acid: A 20-carbon-chain fatty acid, unsaturated at positions 8, 11, and 14. It differs from arachidonic acid, 5,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid, only at position 5.Down-Regulation: A negative regulatory effect on physiological processes at the molecular, cellular, or systemic level. At the molecular level, the major regulatory sites include membrane receptors, genes (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION), mRNAs (RNA, MESSENGER), and proteins.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.Oxidoreductases: The class of all enzymes catalyzing oxidoreduction reactions. The substrate that is oxidized is regarded as a hydrogen donor. The systematic name is based on donor:acceptor oxidoreductase. The recommended name will be dehydrogenase, wherever this is possible; as an alternative, reductase can be used. Oxidase is only used in cases where O2 is the acceptor. (Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992, p9)Drugs, Chinese Herbal: Chinese herbal or plant extracts which are used as drugs to treat diseases or promote general well-being. The concept does not include synthesized compounds manufactured in China.Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action in neoplastic tissue.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Skin Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the SKIN.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Ultraviolet Rays: That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum immediately below the visible range and extending into the x-ray frequencies. The longer wavelengths (near-UV or biotic or vital rays) are necessary for the endogenous synthesis of vitamin D and are also called antirachitic rays; the shorter, ionizing wavelengths (far-UV or abiotic or extravital rays) are viricidal, bactericidal, mutagenic, and carcinogenic and are used as disinfectants.Colforsin: Potent activator of the adenylate cyclase system and the biosynthesis of cyclic AMP. From the plant COLEUS FORSKOHLII. Has antihypertensive, positive inotropic, platelet aggregation inhibitory, and smooth muscle relaxant activities; also lowers intraocular pressure and promotes release of hormones from the pituitary gland.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Sp1 Transcription Factor: Promoter-specific RNA polymerase II transcription factor that binds to the GC box, one of the upstream promoter elements, in mammalian cells. The binding of Sp1 is necessary for the initiation of transcription in the promoters of a variety of cellular and viral GENES.Protein Isoforms: Different forms of a protein that may be produced from different GENES, or from the same gene by ALTERNATIVE SPLICING.Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.Trans-Activators: Diffusible gene products that act on homologous or heterologous molecules of viral or cellular DNA to regulate the expression of proteins.