Proteomic Response Revealed Signaling Pathways Involving in the Mechanism of Polymyxin B-Induced Melanogenesis

Chuhan Zhang, Xiaofen Liu, Hailan Wu, Yu Wang, Yaxin Fan, Beining Guo, Xingchen Bian, Xin Li, Jing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polymyxin B is a last-line antibiotic for extensively resistant Gram-negative bacterial infection. Skin hyperpigmentation is a serious side effect induced by polymyxin B that severely compromises the psychological health and compliance of patients. The literature lacks mechanistic studies that explain how hyperpigmentation occurs, and this substantially hinders the development of intervention strategies and improved compliance. SK-MEL-2 cells were used for the polymyxin B-induced hyperpigmentation mechanism study. Melanin content and tyrosinase activity were measured after polymyxin B treatment. Tandem mass tag (TMT)-labeling quantitative proteomics was employed to investigate the response of SK-MEL-2 cells to polymyxin B treatment. Real-time quantitative PCR and Western blot were applied to validate the mRNA and protein levels of related genes and proteins. The melanin content and tyrosinase activity were significantly upregulated after polymyxin B treatment in SK-MEL-2 cells at 48 h and 72 h. Quantitative proteomics showed that 237 proteins were upregulated and 153 proteins were downregulated in the 48 h group, and 49 proteins were upregulated and 49 proteins were downregulated in the 72 h group. The differentially expressed proteins were involved in pathways such as lysosome, PI3K/Akt signaling pathway, and calcium signaling pathway. The upregulation of melanogenic enzymes and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) was validated by qPCR and Western blot. Meanwhile, phosphorylation of PI3K, β-catenin, and cyclic-AMP response binding protein (CREB) in response to polymyxin B treatment was observed. The present study reveals the proteomic response of polymyxin B-induced melanogenesis in SK-MEL-2 cells for the first time. Signaling pathways, including melanin biosynthesis, PI3K/Akt, and calcium signaling pathways may be involved in the mechanism of melanogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


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