Stem cell factor, a growth factor critical for melanocyte survival, plays an important role in the development of benign and malignant skin hyperpigmentation disorders. More research is needed to look at targeting stem cell factor inhibition as a way to treat skin lesions from melasma to melanoma, according to an article published December 2019 in the Asian-Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention.
Stem cell factor binds to the receptor tyrosine kinase and is expressed by the body’s fibroblasts and endothelial cells, promoting melanocyte differentiation proliferation, migration and survival, according to the authors.
“The interaction of stem cell factor with its receptor, c-kit, is well known to be crucial for the survival of melanocytes,” the Egyptian and Saudi Arabian researchers write.
But little is known about the role of stem cell factor/c-kit interaction in epidermal pigmentation, according to the paper.
These researchers studied stem cell factor expression in benign and malignant pigmented lesions to determine the growth factor’s role in pathogenesis and potential use as a therapeutic target.
The authors have no conflicts of interest, according to the paper.
Atef A, El-Rashidy MA, Abdel Azeem A, Kabel AM. The Role of Stem Cell Factor in Hyperpigmented Skin Lesions. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2019 Dec 1;20(12):3723-3728. doi: 10.31557/APJCP.2019.20.12.3723.