Acta bioquímica clínica latinoamericana
versión On-line ISSN 1851-6114
ARIS, Mariana. Origin of normal and malignant melanocytes. Acta bioquím. clín. latinoam. [online]. 2009, vol.43, n.3, pp. 333-337. ISSN 1851-6114.
Melanocytes are specialized cells that produce melanin, the most important pigment responsible for the coloration of skin, eyes and hair. The origin of melanocytes, their migration during the embryo development process from the neural crest to the epidermis, the molecular signals involved in the acquisition of both differentiated and functional states, and the issue of keeping undifferentiated reserve cells or stem cells will be discussed in this article. On the other hand, these facts will be related to the origin of melanoma, tumor pathology derived from the transformation of melanocytes. Particularly, the etiology and the different models proposed to explain the origin of this disease will be discussed, especially the model of cancer stem cells.
Palabras clave : Melanocytes; Origin of melanocytes; Differentiation; Model of tumor stem cells.