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Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Jan 10;650(1):130-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.10.009. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Resveratrol protects human keratinocytes HaCaT cells from UVA-induced oxidative stress damage by downregulating Keap1 expression.

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Department of Histology and Embryology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Capital Medical University, China.


Ultraviolet radiation A (UVA)-induced oxidative stress is recognized as an important factor in the development of skin carcinogenesis. Resveratrol is demonstrated to possess remarkable antioxidant activity in the organism. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective role of resveratrol in human keratinocytes (HaCaT) against UVA-induced oxidative damage and the possible mechanism of the translocation of NF-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) into the nucleus. The HaCaT cells were UVA-irradiated and the effects of resveratrol on cell viability, reactive oxygen species generation and membrane-lipid peroxidation were measured. The proteins and mRNA of Nrf2 and Kelch-like-ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) were determined by immunofluorescence staining, Western blot and quantitative PCR, respectively. UVA exposure led to a decrease in viability and an increase in reactive oxygen species generation in HaCaT cells. Resveratrol could effectively increase the viability of HaCaT cells after UVA exposure and protect them from UVA-induced oxidative stress. Moreover, resveratrol increased the level of Nrf2 protein and facilitated Nrf2 accumulation in the nucleus; as a result, the activity of antioxidant enzymes was also upregulated. The main finding was that Keap1 protein, a repressor of Nrf2 in the cytoplasm, was clearly decreased by resveratrol treatment 12h and beyond though the level of Keap1 mRNA still increased. Our results suggest that resveratrol can degrade Keap1 protein and facilitate Nrf2 accumulation in the nucleus, thereby protecting HaCaT cells from UVA-induced oxidative stress. Resveratrol could be a more useful natural medicine for the protection of epidermal cells from UVA-induced damage.

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