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Redox Rep. 2017 Nov;22(6):501-507. doi: 10.1080/13510002.2017.1329917. Epub 2017 May 22.

Pterostilbene protects against UVB-induced photo-damage through a phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase-dependent Nrf2/ARE pathway in human keratinocytes.

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a Guangzhou Institute of Dermatology , Guangzhou , China.
b Guangzhou No. 1 People's Hospital , Guangzhou , China.
c The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University , Guangzhou , China.



Ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation is the initial etiological factor for various skin disorders, including erythema, sunburn, photoaging, and photocarcinogenesis. Pterostilbene (Pter) displayed remarkable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic activities. This study aimed to investigate the effective mechanism of Pter against UVB-induced photodamage in immortalized human keratinocytes.


Human keratinocytes were pretreated with Pter (5 and 10 μM) for 24 h prior to UVB irradiation (300 mJ/cm2). Harvested cells were analyzed by MTT, DCFH-DA, comet, western blotting, luciferase promoter, small interference RNA transfection, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay.


Pter significantly attenuated UVB-induced cell death and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and effectively increased nuclear translocation of NF-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2), expression of Nrf2-dependent antioxidant enzymes, and DNA repair activity. Moreover, the protective effects of Pter were abolished by small interference RNA-mediated Nrf2 silencing. Furthermore, Pter was also found to induce the phosphorylation of Nrf2 and the known phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) phosphorylated kinase, Akt. The specific inhibitor of PI3K, LY294002, successfully abrogated Pter-induced Nrf2 phosphorylation, activation of Nrf2-antioxidant response element pathway, ROS scavenging ability, and DNA repair activity.


The present study indicated that Pter effectively protected against UVB-induced photodamage by increasing endogenous defense mechanisms, scavenging UVB-induced ROS, and aiding in damaged DNA repair through a PI3K-dependent activation of Nrf2/ARE pathway.


Nrf2; Pterostilbene; antioxidants; photoprotection; ultraviolet

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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