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Free Radic Biol Med. 1999 May;26(9-10):1172-80.

Ascorbic acid maintenance in HaCaT cells prevents radical formation and apoptosis by UV-B.

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Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.


We have investigated the enzymatic reduction and accumulation of vitamin C in HaCaT epithelial cells. The subcellular localization and the activities of ascorbyl free radical reductase and dehydroascorbate reductase showed that mitochondrial, microsomal and plasma membranes fractions express high levels of ascorbyl free radical reductase activity, whereas dehydroascorbate reductase activity was found at low levels only in the post microsomal supernatant. We have also investigated cell proliferation and vitamin C accumulation induced by ascorbic acid 2-phosphate. This derivative caused no inhibition of cell growth, was uptaken from the extracellular medium and accumulated as ascorbic acid in mM concentrations. These results show that HaCaT cells possess very efficient systems to maintain high levels of both intracellular and extracellular ascorbic acid. The regeneration and uptake of ascorbic acid from extracellular medium contributes to the intracellular antioxidant capacity, as evaluated by 2',7'-dihydrodichlorofluorescein staining. Consequently, cells became more resistant to free radical generation and cell death induced by UV-B irradiation.

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