Distinct effects of ultraviolet B light on antioxidant expression in undifferentiated and differentiated mouse keratinocytes

Adrienne T. Black, Joshua P. Gray, Michael P. Shakarjian, Debra L. Laskin, Diane E. Heck, Jeffrey D. Laskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Ultraviolet (UV) B causes oxidative stress, which has been implicated in carcinogenesis. We determined if the sensitivity of keratinocytes to UVB-induced oxidative stress is dependent on their differentiation state. In primary cultures of undifferentiated and differentiated mouse keratinocytes, UVB (25 mJ/cm2) stimulated production of reactive oxygen intermediates. This was associated with increased messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and the glutathione S-transferase (GST), GSTA1-2. The effects of UVB on GSTA1-2 were greater in undifferentiated when compared with differentiated cells. UVB also induced GSTM1, but only in undifferentiated cells. In contrast, UVB reduced expression of manganese superoxide dismutase, metallothionein-2, GSTA3 and microsomal glutathione S-transferase (mGST)3 in both cell types, whereas it had no major effects on catalase, copper-zinc superoxide dismutase, GSTP1, mGST1 or mGST2. Of note, levels of GSTA4 mRNA were 4- to 5-fold greater in differentiated relative to undifferentiated cells. Moreover, whereas GSTA4 was induced by UVB in undifferentiated cells, it was inhibited in differentiated cells. UVB activated p38 and c-jun N-terminal kinase mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases in both undifferentiated and differentiated keratinocytes. Whereas inhibition of these kinases blocked UVB-induced HO-1 in both cell types, GSTA1-2 and GST-4 were only suppressed in undifferentiated cells. In differentiated keratinocytes, p38 inhibition also suppressed GSTA1-2. In contrast, MAP kinase inhibition had no major effects on UVB-induced suppression of GSTA4 in differentiated cells. These data indicate that UVB-induced alterations in antioxidant expression are differentiation dependent. Moreover, MAP kinases are critical regulators of this response. Alterations in antioxidants are likely to be important mechanisms for protecting the skin from UVB-induced oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cancer Research

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