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      Free Radicals and Extrinsic Skin Aging


      1 , 2 , *

      Dermatology Research and Practice

      Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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          Human skin is constantly directly exposed to the air, solar radiation, environmental pollutants, or other mechanical and chemical insults, which are capable of inducing the generation of free radicals as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS) of our own metabolism. Extrinsic skin damage develops due to several factors: ionizing radiation, severe physical and psychological stress, alcohol intake, poor nutrition, overeating, environmental pollution, and exposure to UV radiation (UVR). It is estimated that among all these environmental factors, UVR contributes up to 80%. UV-induced generation of ROS in the skin develops oxidative stress, when their formation exceeds the antioxidant defence ability of the target cell. The primary mechanism by which UVR initiates molecular responses in human skin is via photochemical generation of ROS mainly formation of superoxide anion (O 2 ), hydrogen peroxide (H 2O 2), hydroxyl radical (OH ), and singlet oxygen ( 1O 2). The only protection of our skin is in its endogenous protection (melanin and enzymatic antioxidants) and antioxidants we consume from the food (vitamin A, C, E, etc.). The most important strategy to reduce the risk of sun UVR damage is to avoid the sun exposure and the use of sunscreens. The next step is the use of exogenous antioxidants orally or by topical application and interventions in preventing oxidative stress and in enhanced DNA repair.

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          Most cited references20

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          AP-1 transcriptional activity is regulated by a direct association between thioredoxin and Ref-1.

          Thioredoxin (TRX) is a pleiotropic cellular factor that has thiol-mediated redox activity and is important in regulation of cellular processes, including proliferation, apoptosis, and gene expression. The activity of several transcription factors is posttranslationally altered by redox modification(s) of specific cysteine residue(s). One such factor is nuclear factor (NF)-kappa B, whose DNA-binding activity is markedly augmented by TRX treatment in vitro. Similarly, the DNA-binding activity of activator protein 1 (AP-1) is modified by a DNA repair enzyme, redox factor 1 (Ref-1), which is identical to a DNA repair enzyme, AP endonuclease. Ref-1 activity is in turn modulated by various redox-active compounds, including TRX. We here report the molecular cascade of redox regulation of AP-1 mediated by TRX and Ref-1. Phorbol 12-myristate 13 acetate efficiently translocated TRX into the HeLa cell nucleus where Ref-1 preexists. This process seems to be essential for AP-1 activation by redox modification because co-overexpression of TRX and Ref-1 in COS-7 cells potentiated AP-1 activity only after TRX was transported into the nucleus by phorbol 12-myristate 13 acetate treatment. To prove the direct active site-mediated association between TRX and Ref-1, we generated a series of substitution-mutant cysteine residues of TRX. In both an in vitro diamide-induced cross-linking study and an in vivo mammalian two-hybrid assay we proved that TRX can associate directly with Ref-1 in the nucleus; also, we demonstrated the requirement of cysteine residues in the TRX catalytic center for the potentiation of AP-1 activity. This report presents an example of a cascade in cellular redox regulation.
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            Redox activation of Fos-Jun DNA binding activity is mediated by a DNA repair enzyme.

            The DNA binding activity of Fos and Jun is regulated in vitro by a post-translational mechanism involving reduction-oxidation. Redox regulation occurs through a conserved cysteine residue located in the DNA binding domain of Fos and Jun. Reduction of this residue by chemical reducing agents or by a ubiquitous nuclear redox factor (Ref-1) recently purified from Hela cells, stimulates AP-1 DNA binding activity in vitro, whereas oxidation or chemical modification of the cysteine has an inhibitory effect on DNA binding activity. Here we demonstrate that the protein product of the ref-1 gene stimulates the DNA binding activity of Fos-Jun heterodimers, Jun-Jun homodimers and Hela cell AP-1 proteins as well as that of several other transcription factors including NF-kappa B, Myb and members of the ATF/CREB family. Furthermore, immunodepletion analysis indicates that Ref-1 is the major AP-1 redox activity in Hela nuclear extracts. Interestingly, Ref-1 is a bifunctional protein; it also possesses an apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease DNA repair activity. However, the redox and DNA repair activities of Ref-1 can, in part, be distinguished biochemically. This study suggests a novel link between transcription factor regulation, oxidative signalling and DNA repair processes in higher eukaryotes.
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              Singlet oxygen mediates the UVA-induced generation of the photoaging-associated mitochondrial common deletion.

              Mutations of mitochondrial (mt) DNA accumulate during normal aging. The most frequent mutation is a 4,977-base pair deletion also called the common deletion, which is increased in photoaged skin. Oxidative stress may play a major role in the generation of large scale mtDNA deletions, but direct proof for this has been elusive. We therefore assessed whether the common deletion can be generated in vitro through UV irradiation and whether reactive oxygen species are involved in this process. Normal human fibroblasts were repetitively exposed to sublethal doses of UVA radiation and assayed for the common deletion employing a semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction technique. There was a time/dose-dependent generation of the common deletion, attributable to the generation of singlet oxygen, since the common deletion was diminished when irradiating in the presence of singlet oxygen quenchers, but increased when enhancing singlet oxygen half-life by deuterium oxide. The induction of the common deletion by UVA irradiation was mimicked by treatment of unirradiated cells with singlet oxygen produced by the thermodecomposition of an endoperoxide. These studies provide evidence for the involvement of reactive oxygen species in the generation of aging-associated mtDNA lesions in human cells and indicate a previously unrecognized role of singlet oxygen in photoaging of human skin.

                Author and article information

                Dermatol Res Pract
                Dermatology Research and Practice
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                29 February 2012
                : 2012
                1Laboratory for Oxidative Stress Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Zdravstvena Pot 5, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
                2Biomedicine in Health Care Division, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Zdravstvena Pot 5, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Giuseppe Argenziano

                Copyright © 2012 B. Poljšak and R. Dahmane.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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