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Molecular mechanisms of UV-induced apoptosis

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Sunburn cells, single standing cells with typical morphologic features occurring in -exposed skin, have been recognized as keratinocytes undergoing apoptosis following UV irradiation. Induction of apoptosis following exposure appears to be a protective mechanism, getting rid off severely damaged cells that bear the risk of malignant transformation. -mediated apoptosis is a highly complex process in which different molecular pathways are involved. These include DNA damage, activation of the tumor suppressor gene p53, triggering of cell death receptors either directly by or by autocrine release of death ligands, mitochondrial damage and cytochrome C release. Detailed knowledge about the interplay between these pathways will increase our understanding of photocarcinogenesis. This review briefly discusses recent findings concerning the molecular mechanisms underlying -induced apoptosis.

Keywords: DNA damage; UVB; apoptosis; death receptors; sunburn cells

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, University Münster, Münster, Germany

Publication date: October 1, 2000


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