Publication date: Jan 27, 2021
The biology of three amelanotic melanoma cell lines (Ab, B16F10, and A375) of different species origin was analyzed during in vitro induced melanization in these cells. Melanin production was induced by DMEM medium characterized by a high level of L-tyrosine (a basic amino acid for melanogenesis). The biodiversity of amelanotic melanoma cells was confirmed by their different responses to melanogenesis induction; Ab hamster melanomas underwent intensive melanization, mouse B16F10 darkened slightly, while human A375 cells did not show any change in melanin content. Highly melanized Ab cells entered a cell death pathway, while slight melanization did not influence cell biology in a significant way. The rapid and high melanization of Ab cells induced apoptosis documented by phosphatidylserine externalization, caspase activation, and mitochondrial energetic state decrease. Melanoma cell type, culture medium, and time of incubation should be taken into consideration during amelanotic melanoma cell culture in vitro. L-tyrosine, as a concentration-dependent factor presented in the culture media, could stimulate some amelanotic melanoma cell lines (Ab, B16F10) to melanin production. The presence of melanin should be considered in the examination of antimelanoma compounds in vitro, because induction of melanin may interfere or be helpful in the treatment of amelanotic melanoma.