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Mutat Res. 2004 May 18;549(1-2):65-78.

Functional genomics of UV radiation responses in human cells.

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Gene Response Section, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, Bethesda, MD, USA.


The gene expression responses of MCF-7, a p53 wild-type (wt) human cell line, were monitored by cDNA microarray hybridization after exposure to different wavelengths of UV irradiation. Equitoxic doses of UVA, UVB, and UVC radiation were used to reduce survival to 37%. The effects of suramin, a signal pathway inhibitor, on the gene expression responses to the three UV wavelengths were also compared in this model system. UVB radiation triggered the broadest gene expression responses, and 172 genes were found to be consistently responsive in at least two-thirds of independent UVB experiments. These UVB radiation-responsive genes encode proteins with diverse cellular roles including cell cycle control, DNA repair, signaling, transcription, protein synthesis, protein degradation, and RNA metabolism. The set of UVB-responsive genes included most of the genes responding to an equitoxic dose of UVC radiation, plus additional genes that were not strongly triggered by UVC radiation. There was also some overlap with genes responding to an equitoxic dose of UVA radiation, although responses to this lower energy UV radiation were overall weaker. Signaling through growth factor receptors and other cytokine receptors was shown to have a major role in mediating UV radiation stress responses, as suramin, which inhibits such receptors, attenuated responses to UV radiation in nearly all the cases. Inhibition by suramin was greater for UVC than for UVB irradiation. This probably reflects the more prominent role in UVB damage response of signaling by reactive oxygen species, which would not be affected by suramin. Our results with suramin demonstrate the power of cDNA microarray hybridization to illuminate the global effects of a pharmacologic inhibitor on cell signaling.

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