Interplay between MITF, PIAS3, and STAT3 in mast cells and melanocytes

Amir Sonnenblick, Carmit Levy, Ehud Razin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microphthalmia transcription factor (MITF) and STAT3 are two transcription factors that play a major role in the regulation of growth and function in mast cells and melanocytes. In the present study, we explored the MITF-PIAS3-STAT3 network of interactions, how these interactions regulate gene expression, and how cytokine-mediated phosphorylation of MITF and STAT3 is involved in the in vivo interplay between these three proteins. In NIH 3T3 cells stimulated via gp130 receptor, transfected MITF was found to be phosphorylated at S409. Such phosphorylation of MITF leads to PIAS3 dissociation from MITF and its association with STAT3. Activation of mouse melanoma and mast cells through gp130 or c-Kit receptors induced the mobilization of PIAS3 from MITF to STAT3. In mast cells derived from MITdi/di mice, whose MITF lacks the Zip domain (PIAS3-binding domain), we found downregulation in mRNA levels of genes regulated by either MITF or STAT3. This regulatory mechanism is of considerable importance since it is likely to advance the deciphering of a role for MITF and STAT3 in mast cells and melanocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10584-10592
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


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