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Mol Cell Biochem. 2008 Apr;311(1-2):111-9. doi: 10.1007/s11010-008-9702-z. Epub 2008 Jan 24.

Silk sericin protein of tropical tasar silkworm inhibits UVB-induced apoptosis in human skin keratinocytes.

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Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302, India.


The silk protein sericin has been identified as a potent antioxidant and photoprotective agent against ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation in mouse skin model. In this study, we have investigated the anti-apoptotic effect of sericin in UVB (30 mJ/cm2)-irradiated human keratinocytes. Flow cytometry analysis has shown that pre-treatment with sericin inhibits UVB-induced apoptosis. The pre-treatment with sericin suppresses bax expression, up-regulates the expression of bcl-2, prevents both the activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase. Generation of intracellular hydrogen peroxide in UVB-treated keratinocytes is inhibited through pre-treatment with sericin suggesting that sericin probably prevents mitochondrial damage.

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