Skin pigmentation is controlled by complex crosstalk between melanocytes and keratinocytes and is primarily induced by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. Several aspects of UVA‐induced signaling remain to be explored. In skin cells, UVA induces plasma membrane damage, which is repaired by lysosomal exocytosis followed by instant shedding of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from the plasma membrane. The released EVs are taken up by neighboring cells. To elucidate the intercellular crosstalk induced by UVA irradiation, EVs were purified from UVA‐exposed melanocytes and added to keratinocytes. Transcriptome analysis of the keratinocytes revealed the activation of TGF‐β and IL‐6/STAT3 signaling pathways and subsequent upregulation of microRNA (miR)21. EVs induced phosphorylation of ERK and JNK, reduced protein levels of PDCD4 and PTEN, and augment antiapoptotic signaling. Consequently, keratinocyte proliferation and migration were stimulated and UV‐induced apoptosis was significantly reduced. Interestingly, melanoma cells and melanoma spheroids also generate increased amounts of EVs with capacity to stimulate proliferation and migration upon UVA. In conclusion, we present a novel intercellular crosstalk mediated by UVA‐induced lysosome‐derived EVs leading to the activation of proliferation and antiapoptotic signaling via miR21.
Wäster, Petra, Ida Eriksson, Linda Vainikka, and Karin Öllinger. "Extracellular vesicles released by melanocytes after UVA irradiation promote intercellular signaling via miR21." Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research (2020).