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Senescent melanocytes driven by glycolytic changes are characterized by melanosome transport dysfunction

Park, YJ;Kim, JC;Kim, Y;Kim, YH;Park, SS;Muther, C;Tessier, A;Lee, G;Gendronneau, G;Forestier, S;Ben-Khalifa, Y;Park, TJ;Kang, HY;

Rationale: Senescent melanocytes accumulate in photoaged skin and are closely related to skin aging. A better understanding of the molecular characteristics of senescent melanocytes may be the key to controlling skin aging. Methods: We have developed an in vitro model of senescence in melanocytes using UV irradiation and investigated the functional characteristics and molecular mechanisms underlying senescence in UV-irradiated melanocytes. Results: We have highlighted that in vitro senescent melanocytes are characterized by melanosome transport dysfunction resulting in melanin accumulation. The defective melanosome transport was confirmed with the ultrastructural characterization of both in vitro UV-induced senescent melanocytes and in vivo melanocytes of hypopigmented aging skin. A single-cell transcriptomic analysis revealed that the glycolytic metabolism pathway appeared to be significantly upregulated in most senescent phenotypes. Furthermore, the inhibition of glycolysis by pharmacological compounds mitigates the pro-aging effects of melanocytes senescence, suggesting that alterations in cellular glucose metabolism act as a driving force for senescence in melanocytes. Conclusion: These results demonstrate that senescent melanocytes are characterized by glycolytic metabolism changes and a defective melanosome transport process, which may be related to impaired mitochondrial function, highlighting the importance of metabolic reprogramming in regulating melanocyte senescence.